Nine Vines belongs to Angove’s Pty. Ltd., one of Australia’s largest privately owned wineries. This winery began with Dr. William Angove, an accomplished general practitioner and surgeon, who emigrated with his wife and young family from Cornwall in 1886 to establish a medical practice in South Australia. Although he enjoyed a distinguished medical career, Dr. Angove’s most enduring legacy survives in the viticulture of South Australia. His early experimentation with vines, winemaking, and distilling led to the establishment of a proud family business. Dr. Angove’s initial plantings in the township of Tea Tree Gully in the Adelaide foothills were the forerunner of one of the largest vineyards in the southern hemisphere — the magnificent Nanya Vineyard at Renmark in South Australia’s Riverland.
Since 1950, Angove’s has steadily expanded its operations and structure. The Renmark facility has grown to become a major winemaking and distilling entity with storage capacity for more than 15 million liters of wine and spirits. In Australia, Angove’s is known not only for its fine table wines (still wines under 14% alcohol), but also for its exceptional line of fortified wines and spirits. Angove’s produces sherry, port, vodka, and an especially fine line of pot-stilled brandies under the name of St. Agnes. The 5 Star Liqueur Brandy from St. Agnes is a gold-medal winner that consistently receives the highest critical acclaim from tasters and critics.
In 1983, the fourth generation of the family took control of Angove’s when John Carlyon Angove succeeded his father as Managing Director of the company. John has taken up where his father left off, with increased development and investment in all aspects of the winery. In addition, Victoria, John’s eldest daughter and a member of the fifth generation, is now actively involved in ensuring ongoing growth in her role as International Business Development Manager, so much so that Angove’s wines can be found today in over 30 different countries around the globe. This is testimony to Victoria’s ability and the outstanding quality of Angove’s many critically acclaimed, award-winning wines.
Like most Australian wineries, Angove’s fashions an entire portfolio of wines at varying levels of quality and age worthiness. Angove’s Vineyard Select offerings and the distinct Nine Vines Series are this family’s top wines. Angove’s Nine Vine Series is an exemplary line of wines. It is so named because only nine vines remain from the original 19th century Tea Tree Gully Vineyard in the Adelaide Hills that Dr. Angove planted. These ancient vines serve as a reminder of the vibrancy of a wine-growing region that has played a vital role in the development of a nation as well as an integral part in the Angove family’s winemaking heritage.
Shiraz or Syrah?
Whether we refer to this great varietal as Shiraz or Syrah, we are talking about the same illustrious grape. Grown for centuries in the Rhône Valley of France, where it is responsible for all or part of many of the greatest red wines of France (Hermitage and Châteauneuf-du-Pape specifically), the exact origin of this full-flavored varietal remains in debate. However, historians do agree that it was brought to Europe from the Middle East, but when and by whom remains a mystery.
Some historians maintain that it was the Crusaders who first brought Syrah to France, while others point to the earlier Roman legions under Probes, and yet others claim it was the remnants of Alexander the Great’s army on its return from Persia. The latter theory is particularly intriguing, since Alexander himself was so enamored of the wines he found around the city of Shiraz in Central Persia that he insisted on staying there, far longer than he should have, apparently, since he died there. Nonetheless, the one point that has been ascertained that everyone seems to agree upon is that the name Shiraz, from the Persian city of that name, is the origin of the varietal’s name. In any case, Syrah flourishes today not only in the south of France but in other Mediterranean climates. It fares particularly well in California and Australia, where it is often called by its original name – Shiraz. Australia’s Barossa Valley is home to many of the oldest un-grafted Shiraz vines on earth, many of which are crafted into wines of extraordinary flavor, power, and texture.