Shiraz defines the Barossa Valley and varies enough between vineyards and the different approaches of winemakers to provide consumers with endless variations. Additional facets of the variety can be highlighted when Shiraz is blended with several other varieties. Mataro is one perfect partner and blends that Benjamin commenced ten years ago with Durif have highlighted another.
Indeed, we have formed the view that Durif has a strong future in the Barossa Valley as the variety blossoms in the additional warmth of the Barossa grape ripening period.
The variety came to Australia in the 1900s and found its way to Rutherglen in 1908 as part of new plantings to replace vineyards devastated by phylloxera. By the 1970s these Rutherglen reds had developed a cult following. Rutherglen is a warm climate so it was natural to see how the variety would adapt to the Barossa climate.
Like Shiraz from which it is derived Durif (Shiraz crossed with Peloursin) is noted for strong flavours and higher than average alcohol.