Kirrihill | Vision in the Clare Valley
Deeply committed to South Australia’s Clare Valley region, the Kirrihill partners have created an exciting new look to reflect the premium quality of their terroir-driven wine collection.
Twenty-three years ago, two friends brought their vision to life when they founded Kirrihill in the Clare Valley. Sean Edwards and Rob Stanway both aspired to grow and craft wines of outstanding quality and international distinction and Kirrihill is the embodiment of that aspiration.
It wasn’t just a vision the two friends shared – both are highly innovative, not afraid to take a risk, and have complementary business expertise. But perhaps most importantly, they both have a deep connection to the Clare Valley.
For Sean, that connection goes back five generations. His family settled in the region in the 1860s growing crops and running cattle, before eventually planting Riesling vines in 1966.
Rob’s connection began in the 1940s when his grandparents moved to Clare. In 1976, his parents bought a property in Watervale and planted Riesling on the now iconic Slate Creek vineyard.
Since Sean and Rob lay Kirrihill’s foundations, they’ve been joined by a third partner, Matt Lawson, another South Australian stalwart whose family history in agriculture dates back to the 1800s. Coming on board in 2017, Matt had been working as Kirrihill’s CEO for 10 years and brought over 25 years of experience in wine.
However, it wasn’t just their familial roots that led the partners to choose the Clare Valley. It’s also a region that provides the perfect environment to fulfil their pursuit of growing the best quality fruit possible, whilst managing the vineyards sustainably and respecting the individual sites.
The micro-climates within the three small valleys making up the Clare Valley, provide Kirrihill’s winemakers with an abundance of selections to produce expressive wines of purity and intrigue, particularly aromatic Rieslings, which speak profoundly of their place.
Their two estate vineyards, Schobers Vineyard and Slate Creek, cover a total of 245 hectares. Highly prized sites, they sit atop the undulating valleys, prospering in the region’s warmer days and cool nights.
Pick of the crop
At the peak of the Kirrihill range is the E.B Gleeson collection, which is a tribute to Clare Valley’s founder, Edward Burton Gleeson. True to the high regard with which Gleeson was held, his namesake collection is crafted from the best fruit from the vintage.
Premium fruit is carefully selected from Kirrihill’s estate vineyards to create this flagship collection which has long featured The Settler Riesling and The Squire Shiraz and now includes The Gentleman Shiraz Mataro, The Pastor Cabernet Malbec, and The Peacemaker Cabernet Shiraz.
While its quality upholds a long tradition, the E.B Gleeson collection has a fresh modern look, which is part of an exciting new identity for Kirrihill. Keep an eye out for their striking new design, which, Matt explains, “more strongly represents our premium offering and is more aligned with our family ownership and commitment to making the best wines possible from our finest Clare Valley vineyards.”
The Gentleman Shiraz Mataro displays Shiraz fruit from the northern end of Clare Valley providing power and strength while the Mataro ( also known as Mourvèdre) hails from Kirrihill's highly distinguished Schobers Vineyard, offering rich fruit flavour and elegance. A powerfully fragrant and complex wine, revealing a luscious body of mulberry, fresh coffee and earthy notes.
Fruit for The Pastor Cabernet Malbec was picked and fermented separately into small batches and cold soaked for several days. This classic Clare Valley blend expresses the hallmarks of the region, with black olive, savoury dark fruits and cacao notes. A full-bodied wine of complexity and finesse with firm integrated tannins and excellent length of flavour.
Both the Cabernet and Shiraz fruit for The Peacemaker blend was selected from the northern end of the Valley, which offers great power and structure to the wine. An expressive Cabernet perfume of sweet violets, black cherry and blood plum carries through to the palate which features supple, chalky tannins and generous layers of dark fruit. A concentrated wine, superbly balanced by a long, fine finish.