When Yalumba’s fifth generation vigneron Robert Hill Smith joined forces with Clare winemaker extraordinaire Jeffrey Grosset to create a new Eden Valley Riesling, it was clear this would be no ordinary wine. Born of occasional musings, the essence of the adventure is two of Australia's best known Riesling makers working together to elevate the status of both Riesling and South Australia’s Eden Valley. The first release was the highly acclaimed 2002 vintage. The project also offers a forum in which both winemakers can share ideas, debate and discuss.
Location of Vineyard
Two Eden Valley vineyard blocks have been carefully selected for this project, chosen for their potential to deliver consistent fruit most in keeping with the unique characters of Eden Valley and the jointly agreed wine style/philosophy. Both are within a few kilometres of each other and are located at a similar altitude of 420 - 430 metres - quite unique for Eden Valley; famous for its multitude of steep hills and deep valleys. Aged between 20-60 years old, the viticultural parameters for each vineyard focus on pruning regimes, leaf retention and nutrition in order to further improve the fruit quality from each block.
From the beginning of the joint adventure in 2002, two subtly different winemaking methods were agreed upon to achieve our desired outcome, that is to make a wine with a strong citrus flavour and slight mineral profile, typical of the Eden Valley region. We look for long, rich flavours with a greater emphasis on power, generosity, persistence and texture than is normally seen. The grapes are "pedantically divided" by selectively hand picking alternate rows into yellow and blue buckets on the same day. The two separate parcels are then crushed at different locations and the finished components and combinations jointly assessed post-vintage amid lively debate, to determine the final blend. Each component, whilst being close to identical at the start, undergoes a subtly different conversion into wine, reflecting the personal differences in the interpretation of the "purest or most powerful expression of variety and region".