USA born sommeliers Richard and Carla Rza Betts have a long said great Grenache is the warm climate analogy of Pinot Noir. During many miles and a fair amount of travel around the globe, they always kept their eyes open for the sandy terroir and cool climate that give the best Grenache that extra something special. Their search came to an end in Vine Vale, where they discovered a 150+ year-old Grenache vineyard (The Rza Block) set on sandy soil in one of coolest microclimates in the Barossa Valley. The vines are own-rooted, head-trained, and dry- and organically farmed. From this tiny vineyard they make their Sucette Grenache. Winemaking is low-touch, a portion of whole bunch, fermented in open-top fermenters. Grapes are basket pressed to old French oak and left to do their own thing, to preserve all the nuances this lovely old site imparts to the fruit. The result—an elegant but ample, sexy and delicious bottle that the couple say finds it’s way onto their table rather frequently.
Year Founded: 2014
Proprietors & Winemakers: Carla & Richard Rza Betts
Size of property: 16.5 acres total, 12.5 planted to Grenache
Terroir: The Grenache vineyard is own-rooted. The vines are of indeterminate age, but are believed to have been planted towards the end of the 1800’s. The vines are head pruned. The Semillon vineyards which grow just across the street are about 65 years old, own rooted on sandy soils and incredibly wild to the point of being feral.
Varieties Cultivated: Grenache, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc