Who Are We
Our Culture & Serious Fun
Every day the Wirra Wirra tribe pass by a large slate installation as they enter the winery. On it is inscribed Greg Trott’s philosophy on life, which is the mantra that we aspire to as we go about our daily tasks.
Never give misery an even break, nor bad wine a second sip.
You must be serious about quality, dedicated to your task in life,
especially winemaking, but this should all be fun.
Perched atop our winery in a modest belltower sits a 3/4 tonne bell that we ring either on occasion or randomly; we like to hurl watermelons from a giant medieval siege machine erected on our lawns, securing our grounds is a boundary fence known as ‘Woodhenge’ made from massive threaded redgum trunks; and a man in a bowler hat and suit ‘lives’ in a red row boat in our vineyards.
We celebrate our successes with gusto (and champagne on hand) and if we have no success to celebrate we can always find another reason.
We’re serious about the wine we make, the wines we drink and the biodynamic vines we grow but we believe that everything else should be fun…
We are the Wirra Wirra Tribe.
Who Are We
Businesses can easily get hung up on creating long-winded value statements that read like a corporate textbook and mean little in practice. At the heart of our Values is the word PLAY.
We’ll let you work out what they might mean. If you get stuck on any of them, just ask one of the Wirra Wirra tribe.
Who Are We
When you speak with Smithy, Tom and Kelly about their winemaking philosophy, there is a continuing theme of ‘letting the fruit shine’. They want our wines to look bright and lively in the glass and reflect the site or vineyard that spawned them. The fruit source is paramount, whether it is from the old vines on our estate, or from our loyal band of growers across McLaren Vale and the Adelaide Hills. That’s why Smithy spends so much time in the vineyards. At the height of vintage, he is out and about all day walking between the rows, tasting fruit and talking with growers to time the harvest to the minute.
When the fruit is in, wines such as The 12th Man Chardonnay give the team a chance to flex their winemaking muscle, while others like The Lost Watch Riesling will be best left to their own devices. The only certainty is that when it comes to Church Block, everyone feels the weight of expectation to “get it right”*.
*Internally referred to as “Don’t #@^% it up!”
Who Are We
McLaren Vale is our home and where the majority of fruit is sourced for crafting Wirra Wirra’s famous red wines, but we also source premium white grapes from a select group of vineyards in the Adelaide Hills, a cooler climate grape growing region, to make an award winning sauvignon blanc, riesling and chardonnay.
Of Wirra Wirra’s owned vineyards, Scrubby Rise (ironically flat and bereft of scrub), Nocowie (named by Trott’s father who disliked cows), Chook Block (next to Trotty’s old Chicken Sheds), ‘73 Block (one guess only), Woodhenge and House Block contribute some of our best fruit year after year.
These blocks on our estate are managed biodynamically – a sustainable practice that we have followed now for nearly a decade. Our efforts were recognised in 2013 when we received biodynamic certification from the NASAA group – the Australian and International Organic Certifier.
On our certified organic and biodynamic vineyards around the winery, no systemic chemicals or pesticides are used in their cultivation – only permitted organic and biodynamic inputs and preparations.
Who Are We
McLaren Vale’s favourable climate and geographical factors make it ideal for grape growing and producing regionally distinctive wines year after year. We enjoy a typical Mediterranean climate with the moderating influence of the sea tempering the summer heat and the cold of winter. The climate is characterised by warm summers, moderate winters, winter-dominant rainfall (580-700mm per annum), low relative humidity and relatively high evaporation. Rain during the harvest period and frost are rare. For the viticulturist this means less likelihood of crop damage and low disease pressure.
McLaren Vale has numerous micro-climates within the region, determined by variation in altitude and soil type associated with the complex geological formations. This variation provides scope for the winemakers of the region to produce wines of varied and distinctive character.
Rainfall is sufficient in some areas to allow dry growing, resulting in further character and distinction in these wines.
Where irrigation is used, drip irrigation is favoured (no other sort of watering is used). There are sufficient sources of good quality underground water and irrigation dams to maintain vine growth, with McLaren Vale considered one of the most efficient regions for water usage in Australia.
Who Are We
The Adelaide Hills has a strong domestic and international reputation as home to some of Australia’s most elegant cool climate wines, displaying great finesse and varietal intensity.
The region is located in the Mount Lofty Ranges, east of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia. Stretching in a narrow band approximately 70km long, the highest vineyards are sited between 600-650 metres altitude in areas such as Crafers, Summertown, Piccadilly and Carey Gully.
The summer months are generally warm and dry with average daytime temperatures and cool nights, considerably cooler than other Australian wine regions. Average rainfall is also higher, with rain occurring mainly during the winter months and varying significantly across the region.
It may surprise some to learn that ‘The Hills’ is one of the largest geographical wine regions in Australia and amongst the most diverse in terms of climate, soil and topography. The region consists of two registered sub-regions, Lenswood and Piccadilly Valley. In fact Lenswood vineyards have been the prime source for The 12th Man Chardonnay and Hiding Champion Sauvignon Blanc.
Senior Winemaker- PAUL SMITH
Winemaker- TOM RAVECH
Winemaker- KELLY WELLINGTON
What are we doing?
Coming from our base in McLaren Vale – arguably Australia’s most sustainable wine region – it stands to reason that we would take our environmental responsibilities seriously. But it goes further than that. Greg Trott was outspoken on the issues of water management, land conservation and chemical use back in the days when the term “environmental” was associated with tree hugging and tie-dye. Since 2005 we have had a dedicated Environmental Coordinator onsite, managing the challenges of numerous projects geared to make us a cleaner and more environmentally efficient winery.
Some of our achievements include:
- The restoration of the winery creek line, which started in early 2000, and has been continuous ever since.
- Creation, implementation and review of a Land Management and Biodiversity Program for our McLaren Vale property since 2010 in partnership with the Natural Resources and Management (NRM) Board. Since then revegetation has been continuous, with about 5200 natives planted so far. These have been supplied by either the NRM Board or Trees For Life. Wirra Wirra has been a member of the latter since 2012.
- NASAA biodynamic certification of the vineyards surrounding the winery since February 2014. The Sustainable Australia Winegrowing (or SAW) programme has also been implemented on these vineyards since the programme’s inception in 2010.
- Creation of a composting area amongst our vineyards, allowing us to compost our marc and stalks (vintage waste) and occasionally our treated wastewater sludge.
- Continuous review and reduction of the amount of packaging entering the waste stream since our involvement with the Australian Packaging Covenant in 2006. View our 2018 Annual Report & Action Plan
- Reduction of the solids amount entering our wastewater stream by 70%.
- Treatment of all our our liquid wastes (wastewater and septic) and reuse on natives planting.
- 50% reduction of our electricity consumption (from the grid) and 60% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions between 2013 and 2014.
- Entwine certification of our winery since December 2017, in compliance with the Freshcare Environmental Winery code of practise.
If you have any questions regarding our Environment Management, please feel free to contact Emmanuelle Walton, our Environmental Coordinator, by phone: (08) 8323 8414 or via email: EWalton@wirra.com.au
Giving back is important to the Wirra Wirra Tribe – to the local community, the wine industry and the broader society. We are also proudly South Australian and on this basis we have committed to supporting a number of important bodies in SA that promote charitable causes, the arts and culture, and sport.
ARTS AND CULTURE PARTNERS
The Fleurieu Biennale Art Prize
South Australian Cricket Association and the Adelaide Strikers.
Sponsorship requests can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org