Australian old-vine Grenache – the next chapter

Marco Cirillo pruning 1848 Grenache vine

A move away from oak pays off in fine, fragrant, complex and beautiful red Grenache wines. Above, Marco Cirillo pruning a Grenache vine dating from 1848.

When I first wrote about McLaren Vale winery Yangarra here in 2015, winemaker Peter Fraser and his team were a couple of years into experimenting with large ceramic egg-shaped vessels to ferment and mature the fruit from their 70-year-old Grenache vines.

At the time, such vessels were still a relative novelty in Australian wineries. But now, when you visit a winemaker in McLaren Vale or the Barossa Valley who’s serious about producing fine, nuanced, new-wave...