Barossa Valley Estate is a cooperative formed in Barossa Valley in 1984 when 80 longtime grape growers banded together to make their own wine. The federal government was at the time offering subsidies to grape growers who pulled out Shiraz vineyards and planted Chardonnay instead, but the 80 growers of old vine Shiraz decided to buck the trend toward Chardonnay and buy winemaking equipment. Today the cooperative remains 100% owned by growers and the family of BVE wines are sold around the world. The wines are all Shiraz and the signature bottling is the E&E Black Pepper Shiraz, which regularly wins compliments and high ratings from reviewers. Wine Spectator rated the 2002 Black Pepper Shiraz at 97 pts and called it “dark, juicy and profound, with layer upon layer of flavor seamlessly knit into a cohesive whole…”
South Australia is the nation’s most important wine region. South Australia is to Australia what California is to the U.S. About half of Australia’s wine comes from South Australia and many of the country’s most acclaimed producers are there. Wineries based in South Australia include Penfolds Grange, Torbreck, Amon Ra, Henschke and Jacob’s Creek. The prestigious Barossa Valley is located in South Australia, and is often compared to Napa Valley because it is gorgeous topography covered in grape vines. First farmed by 19th century German-speakers who immigrated from what is now Poland, the Barossa Valley is the crown jewel of the region. South Australia has widely varying climates, from very hot, dry areas to cooler, high altitude areas. There are more than 150,000 acres of vineyards in South Australia, with more being planted each month. Shiraz is king, though the region also produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Mourvedre, Chardonnay and Semillon.
This grape is grown in milder climates and produces a medium-to full-bodied wine. It is also known as Shiraz, but should not be confused with Petit Sirah, which was developed by crossing Syrah with Peloursin.