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July 21, 2021

Pioneers celebrate 50th vintage on Australia’s second annual Shiraz Wine Day

When it comes to pizzaz and Australian Shiraz, wine pioneers and Ballandean Estate founders Angelo and Mary Puglisi will be celebrating their lifetime achievement in style on Australia’s second annual Shiraz Wine Day this Thursday 22 July 2021.  They stand behind over 50 years of Shiraz, a remarkable achievement in a nation where most producers pulled up their vines in the late eighties at government behest.

Ballandean Estate’s award-winning single vineyard premium Shiraz is sourced from the Opera Block’s oldest vines, planted in 1968, some of the oldest in Australia. It’s a living testament to the vision of Angelo and Mary Puglisi, pioneers of the wine industry in Queensland.

“It’s hard to believe that Australia’s most popular red grape varietal almost didn’t survive, given that we now have some of the oldest shiraz vines in the world.

Ballandean Estate’s low yielding, gnarly old vines are a rarity. Many of the original European vineyards and South Australian shiraz vines were wiped out by a disease called phylloxera.

Our cool climate Shiraz is a family jewel. Most Shiraz vines in Australia are under 15 years old — and the older the vines, the lower the yield and more luscious the fruit.

We’ve come a long way since the sixties, when the naysayers told us the vineyard would fail — because only wogs drink wine in Queensland!

Our expression of terroir begins in the vineyard, our hands and in our hearts.  We work the soil, we tend the grapes — every bottle tells a story, the people, the place, the passion.”

Mary and I planted those Shiraz vines in 1968, and just a few years later, our 1974 Shiraz Cabernet took out the gold medal at the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland Show (RNA, also known as the Ekka).

Fifty years on, these vines are bearing incredible fruit!” laughs Angelo, fondly regarded as the father of Queensland wine.”

Angelo Puglisi

A perpetual acknowledgment to the Puglisi’s influence and respect in the industry, The Angelo Puglisi Grand Champion Wine of Show award, was established in 2019.

Master of Wine Peter Scudamore-Smith says:

“Ballandean Estate’s 2018 Opera Block Shiraz is a sophisticated example of cool climate Shiraz.

“This 50th vintage has tannins of silk, a caressing texture, lovely length of black fruits, oak spice, spotlessly woven flavours and a palate-pleasing light to medium body.”

Queensland’s oldest family-owned and -operated winery future-proofed its reputation for word-class Shiraz by planting 5000 Shiraz plants next to the Opera Block vineyard in early 2021.

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