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Michael Shiraz is Wynns Coonawarra Estate’s best-of-vintage Shiraz. The fruit used for this wine comes from the best vineyard sites in Coonawarra and is only made in years when the best quality fruit is available. The first Michael (then called Michael Hermitage) was a one-off from the 1955 vintage, made after proprietor David Wynn noticed the outstanding quality of the wine from two particular barrels and ordered them to be bottled separately. Named after David Wynn’s young son, this is a legendary Australian wine.
Australia 1955 VINTAGE REPORT
Growing season rainfall was above average but frosts in late September and early October resulted in crop losses of 10 to 15%. Vintage was warm and dry, providing ideal conditions for ripe grapes and good wines.
In 1955 there were 7,538 hectares of vineyards in Barossa and 28,764 tonnes of wine grapes were crushed in that vintage.
A horizontal Vaslin batch press was used for the first time at Orlando. The company also took their new winemaking technology one step further by undertaking the first controlled pressure refrigerated fermentation of red wines on skins.
Kaiser Stuhl installed the Barossa’s first pasteurisation plant in the quest for cleaner wines.
Meanwhile, industry innovation received a significant boost with the formation of The Australian Wine Research Institute in June 1955, with funding coming from the Australian Wine Board. John Fornachon was appointed the first Director of Research.
Grange Hermitage gained its first industry acknowledgement winning gold medals at major Australian wine shows. Penfolds also invests in an early air-conditioned and insulated cellar – for flor sherry production.
Post-war immigrant Rolf Binder Senior followed a New World dream and opened Veritas Wines at Langmeil.