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Tuesday 10 September 2019

Double celebration for wine producer

Wirra Wirra winery, one of the stars of McLaren Vale, is this year celebrating its 50th birthday as well as its 125th birthday. 

If that sounds a little bonkers, then Wirra Wirra has a long association with eccentrics from its original founder Robert Strangeways Wigley to the man who revived the business, the late Greg Trott. 

Wigley, a former state cricketer and lovable rogue, established Wirra Wirra when he purchased 240 acres and began  a pioneering operation.

He died in 1926 and the winery was closed in 1936.

Then, 50 years ago, Greg Trott and his brother Roger saw the potential in a few crumbling walls, and vowed to restore Wirra Wirra to its former glory. 

Trott died in 2005 but his legacy lives on at a winery that has long had a sense of fun while making wines that are serious.  

Last month Wirra Wirra marked both its founding and its revival with a series of tastings, events and dinners, including inviting several of its ex winemakers and staffers to show off what they are doing now.

That list of star alumni included Ben Riggs (Mr Riggs), Sam Connew (Stargazer), Kerri Thompson (Wines by KT), Paul Carpenter (LongLine), Julian Forwood (Ministry of Clouds) and Tim James (Dawson James) to show off what they are doing now. James was unfortunately unable to attend.  

The potential longevity of Wirra Wirra reds was underlined by a pair of stunning 2004 vintages of both the Church Block and The Angelus Cabernet Sauvignon.

A memorable occasion marked by some memorable wines, a fabulous dinner, a trebuchet performance, music and fireworks. Just as the slightly manic Trott would have wanted.      

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