Canberra District Shiraz/Viognier



Dr John Kirk founded Clonakilla vineyard at Murrumbateman, 40 kilometres north of Canberra,...

in 1971 after his scientific curiosity led him to question why vines were not being grown in this area. His research showed that the soil and climate seemed suited to certain varieties. Clonakilla means 'meadow of the church' and is the name of Dr Kirk's grandfather's farm in County Clare, Ireland. In 1997 Tim Kirk, the fourth of John's six sons, took over responsibility for winemaking. Today, Clonakilla is recognised as one of the leading estates in Australia. Tim was named Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year in 2013.

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The fruit comes from two adjacent, family-owned vineyards just outside the village of Murrumbateman in the cool Southern Tablelands of New South Wales. 'Canberra District' is the official geographical indicator for the winegrowing district around Canberra, Australia's capital city.

Vintage Information

2009 was a great vintage in the Canberra District, consistently warm by day with cool nights care of Murrumbateman's elevation of 600 metres above sea level. Yields were lower than average adding an extra degree of concentration to the perfectly ripe fruit. 6% co-fermented Viognier was included in this year's blend.


Each vineyard block is kept separate through the winemaking and maturation process until final blend selections are made prior to bottling. Pre-fermentation maceration lasted 3 days, with 20% whole bunches. The wine spent an average of 3 weeks on the skins, followed by 12 months in French oak, of which 30% was new and the rest a combination of one, two and three year old barrels. The oak was all French and the coopers included Francois Freres, Sirugue, Mercurey and Taransaud.

Tasting Notes

Very deep ruby/purple in colour with dark, intense, very pure aromas of violets and ripe summer berries with complex spice notes. On the palate there is lots of black fruit, classic savoury spice and persistent, mouth-coating tannins.

Vintage Information

Vintage 2009
Grape varieties 94% Syrah/Shiraz
6% Viognier
Region Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Winemaker Tim Kirk
Alcohol (ABV) 14%
Acidity 6.1g/l
Residual Sugar 0.2g/l
Wine pH 3.69