Nestling at the base of the rolling hills of the famous Barossa Valley there is the Ross Estate vineyards. Basking in an ideal Mediterranean climate, nourished by rich alluvial loam, age old vines produce some of the most highly regarded wine available today. The inspiration for this Estate grew from one man’s dream.
In 1999, the Ross Estate renaissance began. The estate was built within the year by owners Darius and Pauline Ross. Their daughter Anne Ross-Manfield works to ensure the Ross Estate name becomes the word on everyone’s lips whenever wine is mentioned or even thought.
In the beautiful blue haze of the Barossa Hills, Ross Estate Cellar Door is surrounded by manicured lawns and beautiful standard red and white roses which escort you to their front door. Be prepared for an experience that will have you coming back for more.
Although the Ross Estate as an entity is young, its roots are firmly planted in the history of the Barossa Valley. Darius and Pauline Ross bought the present Ross Estate, located in the Lyndoch area of the Barossa Valley, from a family of German extraction. They had owned the land for generations and were grape growers for much of that time.
Several of the existing varietals on the property have significant age – the Grenache is 82 years old, and the Riesling and Semillon are 35 years old. New vineyards of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay were planted when the Ross’ bought the estate, and they are now in full production.
Under the tutelage of winemaker Rod Chapman (who brings 41 years of winemaking experience with him, including 18 years making Grange for Penfolds), Ross Estate is committed to producing some of the finest wines available out of the Barossa. Chapman, with his extensive experience and contacts, understands what it takes to make a world-class wine. This commitment is totally focused on making the highest quality product while sparing no cost. A new winery with state-of-the-art technology (encompassing many traditional methods) with both private and public tasting rooms, offices, and a warehouse have recently been built on the 210 acre property.
The vision is toward the future. Already the fruits of Ross Estate’s efforts have been rewarded with numerous medals – at the February 2000 Sydney Wine Show 4 out of 7 wines won medals. Winestate magazine has also reviewed the wines positively with a 5-star rating for the 1999 Semillon. The rest of the range received 3 1/2 stars, and all were recommended. Not a bad way to kick off on the inaugural release. They were just nominated by the the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation for having the best wine exported worldwide in 2002.
The recent release of their 2001 wines is a shocking revelation – shocking because in a single vintage not only have they blown the doors off the category and taken command of that popular $15 retail price point (with their North Ridge range), but their Reserve Shiraz 2001 has signaled to the competition (at $30 retail) that they can make truly great wines without the unnecessary sticker shock that customarily goes hand in hand with greatness.
Ross Estate has become a formidable player in the South Australian wine scene. Their vision and commitment to quality without compromise ensure a rightful place among the finest estates in Australia. If these first 5 releases are any indication of future potential achievements, Ross may become the dominant force in Barossa – they certainly have enough capacity to supply the market.
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