Established by Bob and Cherie Berton in May 1996, Berton Vineyard is one of Hallgarten’s most important partners. The estate covers 30 hectares of land located on gently rolling hills at 450 metres above sea level, in a subregion of Eden Valley in South Australia. The superb Reserve Shiraz and Reserve Chardonnay wines are still sourced from this plot. In 2007, Bob purchased the Yenda winery in the heart of the Riverina. This state-of- the-art facility has the capacity to process 20,000 tonnes and enables Berton Vineyard to produce value for money wines which sit alongside their premium single vineyard offerings.
A vintage highlight, the Viognier fruit achieved wonderful ripe flavours and was harvested on the morning on the 23rd February to retain fresh fruit flavours and minimise oxidation.
The Viognier grapes come from the Foleys Corner vineyard site, planted by Joe and Frank Sergi – who have been supplying fruit to Berton Vineyards for nearly 20 years. The Riverina is a pioneering wine area established in the late 1800s but began thriving in the post World War Two era when many Italians migrated and started setting up small vineyards. Back then, many international varieties such as Merlot, Chardonnay and Shiraz were planted. Viognier was planted in 2006 and remains one of the few plantings of this variety in the area. This vineyard is planted with Ramsey rootstock, on a single wire trellis with vines spaced 1.8m apart, allowing for mechanical harvesting to retain the quality of the fruit. The vines are drip irrigation if required. Berton Vineyards is part of the Sustainable Winegrowers of Australia and promotes sustainable cultivation in its vineyards.
The fruit was crushed, destemmed, chilled and transferred to the bag presses. After a gentle pressing the juice was clarified before a slow fermentation at temperatures of 14 to 16°C using a selected yeast to optimise lush varietal flavours. After fermentation, the wine was left on yeast lees for a short period and stirred regularly. The wine was fermented in stainless steel and after fermentation underwent a short period on yeast lees, which helped to build mid palate weight and imparted the soft, creamy texture.
Fresh aromas of nectarine and peach are complemented by floral nuances of jasmine and orange blossom. Soft and creamy, with refreshing mandarin notes though to a long finish with delicious hints of ginger and spice.
New South Wales