Colonel William Light, the South Australian colony’s Surveyor-General, named the Barossa in 1837 after the site of an English victory over the French in the Spanish Peninsular War. In the mid-1800’s Silesian and English immigrants settled in the area. The Barossa itself comprises two distinct sub-regions: Eden Valley and the warmer Barossa Valley floor at 270m.The Barossa Valley enjoys a warm Mediterranean climate characterised by hot dry summers and relatively low rainfall. Cool sea breezes from the Gulf of St Vincent modify the temperature, however hot northerly winds can occasionally dominate creating considerable vine stress. Many older established vineyards are dry-grown, but supplementary irrigation is also extensively used. The valley is comprised of rich brown soils and alluvial sands. A long history of uninterrupted viticulture in the area means the Barossa valley is home to Australia’s largest concentration of old-vine Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre with many over 100 years old. Although most famous for Shiraz, the Barossa can also produce fragrant and deliciously fruity Grenache blends and beautifully rich, chocolatey Cabernet Sauvignons.
David Powell, a former lumberjack turned winemaker, established Torbreck in 1994. Since then, the tiny winery operation has grown exponentially, buoyed by the success of its highly opulent and perfumed wines. Torbreck sources fruit from a myriad of dry grown low-yielding vineyards located on the western ridge of the Barossa Valley and as far south as the Jacob’s Creek area. These include established century-old vineyards. It either share-farms or has full vineyard management control, ensuring optimum fruit quality, ripeness and flavour development. The wines are batch vinified in open fermenters and vinification incorporates a palette of winemaking options including pre-fermentation cold soak, extended maceration, partial whole bunch fermentation, warm and cooler ferment regimes and regular pumping over.