Some of the best wines being produced in Barossa Valley are produced by small batch producers using premium grapes, basket press, open vat fermentation, minimal processing, and new and seasoned oak barrels to produce early drinking full bodied fruit forward wines. In the 1980s Rockford’s Robert O’Callahan redefined “artisan” winemaking in the Barossa Valley challenging the big tank farm production methods. Following O’Callahan’s lead, small-batch wine artisans followed in his footsteps, learning the craft working a Rockford’s. Murray Streets’ co-founder and winemaker Andrew Seppelt was one of the early disciples.
The O’Callahan small-batch model is at its core the model used to make wine at Murray Street. Our Gomersal and Greenock vineyards are organized into blocks and are treated separately. Think of them as small vineyards with individual handing from the vineyard, to harvesting, fermentation, oak treatment with over six hundred barrels produced. The contents of these barrels are catalogued and rated. When it comes time to put one of our dozen red wines together our winemaker goes to the blending bench.
The winemaker at Murray Street monitors the work done on the Gomersal and Greenock blocks by the Vineyard Management Team. He approves vineyard management practices, their invoices, use of water, and the timing of harvesting. The winemaker has a laboratory at his disposal and grapes are harvested based on taste and chemistry the location of the winery and vineyards are conducive to the winemaker performing these duties.
The winemaker oversees the team working crush and cellar practices. The winemaker has a playbook for the Murray Street and MSV labelled wines.