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; 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 like to hurl watermelons from a giant medieval siege machine erected on our lawns and we acknowledge Australia’s most famous equestrian race by running around the grounds with our colleagues astride broomsticks topped with cut-out horse heads.

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

Values


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

Winemaking

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

Vineyards

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 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. http://www.nasaa.com.au/

No chemicals or pesticides are used in the cultivation of our vineyards – only organic and biodynamic preparations.

Who Are We

McLaren Vale

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 various 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 increased fruit flavour intensity.

Where irrigation is used, drip irrigation is favoured. 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

Adelaide Hills

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 temperatures, particularly evening, 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 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

Environmental Management

Sustainability

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:

  • Creation of a Land Management Program in 2010 in partnership with the Natural Resources and Management (NRM) Board. Following the program creation:
  • Wirra Wirra has been a member of Trees For Life since 2012
  • Wirra Wirra has been a member of the Australian Packaging Covenant which seeks to reduce the amount of packaging materials entering the waste stream
  • The restoration of the winery creek has been significantly extended, with the removal of about 900 exotic shrubs and trees along 400 metres of creek line in May 2012
  • About 700 natives were planted in 2011, 300 in 2012, 1400 in 2013, 1400 in 2014 and 900 in 2015 – That’s over 4,700 native trees planted in five years!
  • The vineyards around the winery have been certified biodynamic by NASAA since February 2013
  • Creation of a composting area amongst our vineyards, allowing us to compost our marc and stalks (vintage waste) and occasionally our treated wastewater sludge
  • 50% reduction of our electricity consumption (from the grid) and 60% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions between 2013 and 2014
  • Reduction of the solids quantity (sludge/lees) present in untreated wastewater by 70%, achieved by installing stainless steel screens on winery drains

At Wirra Wirra we have chosen to align our environmental policies and procedures with the Draft Environmental Management Plan Guidelines for South Australian Wineries* (October 2012) and relevant aspects of the International Standard of environmental management systems (ISO 14001:2004).

At Wirra Wirra we have chosen to align our environmental policies and procedures with the Draft Environmental Management Plan Guidelines for South Australian Wineries* (October 2012) and relevant aspects of the International Standard of environmental management systems (ISO 14001:2004).
If you have any ideas, comments, or suggestions that might assist Wirra Wirra to minimise its impact on the environment, please feel free to contact Emmanuelle Walton, our Environmental Coordinator, by phone: (08) 8323 8414 or via email: EWalton@wirra.com.au

Partnerships

Giving back is important to the Wirra Wirra Tribe – to the local community, the wine industry and the broader society. On top of this we are 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.

CHARITY PARTNERS
Team Kids – The Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation.
The Joanna Briggs Institute

ARTS AND CULTURE PARTNERS
The Zephyr Quartet
The Fleurieu Biennale Art Prize
Andrew Baines

SPORTING PARTNER
South Australian Cricket Association and the Adelaide Strikers.

Sponsorship requests can be sent to info@wirra.com.au