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The love chack

There are no successful glorious works of art or endeavours that aren’t fuelled by love and commitment, and this is evident in the Eden Valley winery, Brochenchack. The passion and love stems from proprietors Marilyn and Trevor Harch’s connection with their wonderful four grandchildren whose combined names make up the winery’s name; BROnte, maCKENzie, CHarli and jACK. Throw in the skill of a sixth generation master winemaker in the form of Shawn Kalleske, whose own label, ‘Laughing Jack’, finds its way on to wine lists at the top end of the market, and you have a team whose end product will always represent quality over commerce.

02 Apr 2012

By Dr Michael Ryan

There are no successful glorious works of art or endeavours that aren’t fuelled by love and commitment, and this is evident in the Eden Valley winery, Brochenchack.

The passion and love stems from proprietors Marilyn and Trevor Harch’s connection with their wonderful four grandchildren whose combined names make up the winery’s name; BROnte, maCKENzie, CHarli and jACK.

Throw in the skill of a sixth generation master winemaker in the form of Shawn Kalleske, whose own label, ‘Laughing Jack’, finds its way on to wine lists at the top end of the market, and you have a team whose end product will always represent quality over commerce.

The Brochenchack vineyard is on Pub Road and, in its day, must have been a charismatic area with a pub and horse watering stables down the road and a butchery and a brothel on the vineyard site.  The latter buildings have been renovated and act as Tasting Room and Guest House.  Great wine begins in the vineyard and the vinous pedigree of these 100 plus year old vines is evident as the Shiraz fruit has been going into Yalumba’s premium Octavius Shiraz for years.  The Riesling vines are from 1896 and believed to be the oldest in Eden Valley.

Trevor and Marilyn, also owners of the Purple Palate wine shops, are both commuting Queenslanders who feel a real connection to the vineyard.  Trevor’s main vocation has been in building and development but he has been unable to quash the Lutheran Germanic stirrings entrenched in his Barossa ancestors.  Hence his natural attraction to the Adelaide surrounds.

The first 66 acre block was purchased in 2007 and they have an additional 40 acres acquired in 2010.  At present, about 23 acres are producing a mix of Shiraz and Riesling.  More Shiraz has been planted along with Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir. 

Shawn and Trevor see the intricate challenge of growing a thorny grape like Pinot Noir as a personal challenge.  At 450 plus metres above sea level and the choice of the right clones, they may be closer to success than what is realised.

The grandchildren adore their holidays at Brockenchack and, at ages between 8 and 11, they see a future here forb themselves.  The two boys have a convivial familial rivalry as indicated by Mackenzie saying to Jack, “how about you make the wine and I travel the world and sell the wine.”

Trevor and Marilyn have an innate sense of the legacy that is forming.  They strongly believe that while the immediate gratification of producing award winning wine from their earthly retreat is soulful contentment, it pales into insignificance when compared to the substance of a palpable bequest that will live on in the hearts of four spirited grandchildren.

THE WINES

2011 Brockenchack Mackenzie William 1896 Riesling ($15) – Named after the eldest grandson, Mackenzie.  One of only two gold medal Riesling winners in the 2011 Barossa Show.  Also listed in the Adelaide Review Hot 100 Wines for 2011 (out of over 1,200 entrants).  Enticing pale yellow colour, lime citrus nose with hints of fresh grass and ginger. The palate is moderately lush with loads of acid that zings on the palate like a lemon curd. Have with Thai grilled scallops.

2011 Brockenchack Tru-Su Rosé ($12) – Named after Trevor & Marilyn’s two daughters, Trudi & Susan. Silver medal winning wine made after only hours of skin contact from premium Shiraz grapes.  Pale ruby colour with strawberry nose and hint of spice.  Luscious moderately sweet anterior palate with a hint of pepper.  Serve chilled with an artisan pepperoni pizza.

2010 Brockenchack Zip Line Shiraz ($19) – Bronze medal winning wine.  Deep ruby to purple colour.  A nose full of aromatic plums that open up in the glass to more Christmas cake aromas.  Full palate with dark fruit and mid palate tannins balanced by French and American oak.  Try with Maggie Beer’s Quince and Thyme Spatchcock.

2009 Brockenchack Jack Harrison Shiraz ($57), release date May 9th 2012. Named after second grandson, Jack.  Serious wine from handpicked fruit.  All the classic aromas of plum, blackberries, and hints of tarragon and pepper.  Full palate and loads of balanced sweetness. Cellar 20 years easily.  Scored 93 points from James Halliday.  Try with Boeuf Wellington, a classic!

Website recently launched www.brockenchack.com.au


Published: 02 Apr 2012