This Hunter Valley Shiraz is named after Richie’s grandmother, Aziza, who used to make this style of wine in Israel (in the town of Zikhron Ya’akov) in the 1950s. Just like Aziza used to make her wines, this wine is nothing but Shiraz. No cultured yeast, no sulfur, no fining, and no filtering. The fruit comes from Pokolbin, a small sub-region of the Hunter Valley, which grew to fame when Tyrell’s Winery located there made Australia’s first ever Chardonnay. Being one of Australia’s most northerly viticultural areas, growing conditions in Pokolbin are quite hot; if it were not for the late afternoon cloud cover and sea breezes, viticulture would not be viable here.
The grapes are hand harvested and destemmed, then fermented spontaneously in stainless-steel tanks with twice-daily pump overs. After 8 days on the skins, the wine is pressed and sent to French oak barrels for 8 months of aging, where it goes through spontaneous malolactic fermentation. From there it is racked back to tank and bottled without fining, filtration, or sulfur. This is nothing but Shiraz.