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Byrne Vineyards

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Byrne Vineyards

Byrne Vineyards are a family owned, estate grown, wine business celebrating 50 years in South Australian wine. With vineyards spanning SA’s prime wine-producing regions, including Clare Valley and Riverland, our mature vines produce wines of great intensity and flavour. Ready to share today, here in Australia and around the world.

Byrne wines express our family’s dedication to the land and the highest quality estate grown wines. Rob Byrne together with daughter Petria and Rob’s brother Terry and his wife Elise form the family drive behind the business started by their parents in the 1960s.



BYRNE: FAMILY OWNED; ESTATE GROWN: SUSTAINABLY MADE.

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS AND 3 GENERATIONS IN WINE.

Byrne wines express our family’s dedication to the land and the highest quality estate grown wines.  Rob Byrne together with daughter Petria and Rob’s brother Terry and his wife Elise form the family drive behind the business started by their parents in the 1960s.

We excel at producing the classic Australian wines (Shiraz/Cabernet/Chardonnay/Riesling) recognised around the world as well as new alternative varieties and styles that suit our vineyards and environment perfectly.   With numerous Trophy and Gold medal winners in the range, along with environmental awards for excellence in water management and sustaining the natural environment, a commitment to research and innovation, Byrne stands for quality for today and sustainability for the future. Sourced from our Clare Valley and Riverland vineyards of South Australia, we have 400 hectares of estate vineyards, making Byrne Vineyards one of South Australia’s largest  family owned estate grown wine producers.

 Byrne is a recognised leader in environmental sustainability with its preservation efforts of the Scotts Creek Wetlands located on our property, adoption of Freshcare Code of Practice Environmental Viticulture, being the first in South Australia to have an accredited wetland management plan and permanent wetland water licence, adopting state of the art water technology that has allowed 240 million litres to be returned to the Murray Darling for increased environmental flows. The Scotts Creek Wetlands one of South Australia’s largest natural wetland environments and home to many rare and endangered native flora and fauna.

Byrne Vineyards supply wines around the world to UK, Europe, Scandinavia, Japan, China, Asia, North America and Australia.

SUSTAINABILITY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND COMMUNITY IS INTEGRAL IN WHAT WE DO.

2014 UNITED NATIONS ASSOCIATION AUS - FINALIST

The United Nations World Environment Day Awards 2014 commended Scotts Creek as a finalist for Excellence in Sustainable Water Management.  This recognition gave international interest on the approach taken at our Byrne Vineyards and Scotts Creek wetlands.

SAWIA 2013 ENVIRONMENTAL EXCELLENCE AWARD

With the focus in 2013 on WATER, Scott’s Creek Reserve was awarded the Small-Medium Business Category. Environmental sustainability, with focus on vineyard activities co-existing alongside the precious wetlands, Scotts Creek is balancing water efficiency, wildlife care and premium quality vineyards.

In 1960, Eric and Romla Byrne purchased the Devlin's Pound property near Waikerie in South Australia. For sons Rob and Terry Byrne, here began the family passion for wine and viticulture and they, together with Rob’s daughter Petria and Terry’s wife Elise are still the family  force behind the company.

Director Rob Byrne's vision is to 'bring our land to life’ growing premium quality estate grown produce. With over 2,000 hectares of high quality arable land available on the property, the team are working to turn this vision into reality and expand the area under vine and other horticultural production. In 2005, Rob's daughter Petria joined the business and is the Operations Manager.

Fellow Director Terry Byrne is a Roseworthy Agricultural Management graduate, and has been involved in  vineyard management for over forty years, with his persistent goal being simply to grow the best quality whilst conserving water and energy. Terry's wife Elise is the champion for the company's ongoing sustainability both in the vineyards and natural environment.

At Byrne, the family’s values of integrity, partnerships, high level of service and quality extend throughout the organisation and its clients and partners around the globe. Building our own brands, working with exclusive partners and tailoring to market needs is the pivotal core to what Byrne is about.  Involved at every level of the business, our determination to deliver a service unparalleled, guarantees excellent quality at every stage.

As we move forward, our land will expand the products grown and produced.  A land to table business, our aim is to provide a safe, secure, quality route to market for our estate grown produce with care of the local environment for the future generations and community.

Byrne – Family Owned, Estate Grown, Sustainably Made.

OUR WINE STORY

The first vines on our property were planted in the 1930s in Clare Valley and produce our superb Byrne Limited Release Grenache. As South Australia is phylloxera free, and didn’t suffer the scourge of this vineyard disease which wiped out most of the world’s vineyards, these are some of the older vines still in commercial use in the world.

In 1963, Eric and Romla Byrne purchased the Devlin's Pound property near Overland Corner in South Australia and planted this limestone based vineyard to a range of grape varieties, most notably Shiraz, Cabernet and Chardonnay which have all received Gold medals for their premium wine quality. We have some prized old white varieties on this vineyard which now are used for our Antiquarian Rare White Blend which is a unique vineyard blend, barrel fermented using wild yeasts.

During the 1970s the Morgan (Scotts Creek) vineyard was established by then owners, Penfold’s, under the guidance of Max Schubert due its close proximity to the Barossa, excellent Limestone soils and ideal climate for premium wine production. The Byrne family acquired this property in 1995. During the decade long drought which ended in 2011, the Byrne family had to make the difficult decision to mothball a large section of the vineyard due to lack of water. Many lessons were learnt during this difficult period which has resulted in adoption of the latest water technology allowing water to be returned to the natural environment, preservation of the Scotts Creek wetlands and replanting the mothballed vines with resilient clones.

Our winemaker, Peter Gajewski, coincidently helped plant these vines at Scotts Creek as a young man; and then as Senior Penfold’s Winemaker, used these grapes for many years producing premium wine; and now has come full circle making these grapes into premium wines for Byrne Vineyards where he first started.

Byrne is the largest grower of Riesling in South Australia with approximately 100 hectares under vine in Scotts Creek and the Clare Valley. We are developing contemporary and innovative Riesling styles to entice consumers back to this high quality varietal.

Originally growing grapes for other major wineries, Byrne Vineyards started producing its own wines from the estate vineyards in 2008 and has gone from strength to strength winning many accolades and awards for its wines and strong demand for its wines around the world. Phil Reedman, Master of Wine, joined Byrne to provide his market and blending expertise in 2010.

To date the crowning achievement has been the Byrne Limited Release Sangiovese winning Trophy for best Sangiovese at the largest officially recognised wine competition in the World (AWC Vienna International Wine Challenge) and our Antiquarian Shiraz (3rd place for World's Best Reserve Red Wine) at the same awards.

Like all good wine, the quality starts from the vineyard, so that is why we take a holistic approach to wine making from grape to glass.

HISTORY NORTH OF THE MURRAY RIVER

The characters of the properties stretch well before the Byrne family came to be the custodians of the land for this past half century.

GEOLOGICAL HISTORY

An ancient seabed from about 15 millons of years ago, is evident where the ocean influence was responsible for the rocky Limestone soils found in our vineyards. A rare oyster shell can sometimes be found in th region from the ostrea sturtiana which Charles Sturt commented on in the 1830s that "summits were covered in oyster shells, in such abundance as to entirely preclude the idea of their having been brought to such a position". The unique qualities created in the wines coming from the limestone vineyards are a concentration of fruit flavours, increased acid levels and fruit intensity from the lower yielding vines. Unlike many inland regions, these vines perform in soils more commonly found in coastal regions and yet have the natural advantage of greater sunshine days and lowered pest and disease.

HISTORY OF SCOTTS CREEK

The history and ownership of the wetlands between Brenda Park and Scotts Creek dates back to when local aborigines inhabited the area around the wetlands. In the 1850s, German born Hermann Von Rieben settled on the site and built the first Hotel which doubled as a Post Office.

The historical context of the time is still evident with the remnants of what was termed in those days a lovely home of wood, stone and thatched roof of reeds. Licenced in 1855, the Von Rieben Hotel operated continuously until 1875. The Country Eyre Post Office, Hermann was the first Postmaster from 1859. Hermann’s son Otto later became a significant influence in the city of Burnside near Adelaide where the Attunga building sits beside the Burnside Memorial Hospital as a reminder of his legacy. Our Von Rieben wines pay tribute to the German heritage and the old ruins which lay adjacent to our Riesling and Gewurtztraminer vineyards on the property and the pioneering spirit of the Von Rieben family.

Sidney Wilcox became one of the next owners and in 1906 built the Wilcox Homestead named ‘MULYOULPKO’ which means ‘home by the water’ with its French windows and opening out on a wide brick verandah. At that time, pigs, cows, sheep and horses were kept at the station.

Morgan and the settlements to Overland Corner were in the height of the paddle-steamer days and the beginnings of the rail system. The property was filled with produce for what was the “fruit bowl” of South Australia with boats to then be sent to Adelaide and beyond. No 1 Licence to pump water from the Murray was issued to Wilcox in 1915 when an ambitious scheme was carried out to utilise the River flats. By keeping the back the flood waters, about forty men were employed to build and long and high stone wall around the flats and a railway line to carry produce ran along the top. The remains of the water flume and stone walls can be see today from which £22,000 was spent on a somewhat mixed success. By the 1956 floods, a well-engineered irrigation system was functioning. The irrigation system was innovative and ahead of its time, just as this approach to seeking new methods is still encouraged today.

The Scotts Creek ‘Woolpunda’ Shearing Shed is part of Australia’s rich wool history when wool was the most important product to the Australian economy and the term phrased for the Australian economy “riding on the sheep’s back.” It was a working shed until the 1970s, purpose built with its innovative design for the day, pipes on the eastern wall improved ventilation on hot summer days and shearers’ accommodation was close by to accommodate the team of the day. Next to the Shearing Shed are the two original tractor ploughs which were used on the farm and close to the river.

HISTORY OF MORGAN

Morgan itself it rich with history and stories of the bygone era. The historic walk of the township a few kilometres away includes the points of interest as listed in the official website http://www.murrayriver.com.au/morgan/morgan-historic-walk/ and interestingly includes much activity that dates after that of the Von Riebens.

HISTORY OF GLEN DEVLIN

The vineyard was named Glen Devlin in tribute to the local 1800s rogue: Irishman Paddy Devlin. It is also referred to as Glenrun. A run or a pound is simply an area of land enclosed, sometimes for the purpose of animals. Whether wildlife or farm animals, the historical name dates back to before vines were planted.

Byrne Vineyards sell two labels relating to these historical stories. Devlin’s Mount speaks to the sweeping views from the vineyard that are enjoyed over the majestic River Murray. Taking in the clifftops, tree lined banks and the snaking bends of the water.

Thievin’ Devlin is a playful reference to Paddy Devlin himself. A rogue and larrikin, it depicts Devlin running with a cow over his head – let’s say it’s not intended to be taken literally.

Ultimately whether playful or seriously labelled, the vineyards enjoy the best of care.

Located some 15km from Overland Corner, this is the site of where the likes of Cobb & CO coaches, drovers and overlanders operated between NSW and Adelaide. A camp ground for steamers passing through, many a traveller would have made their way from one Hotel to the next north of the river.

The Overland Corner hotel which still operates there was built in 1859 some four years after Hermann Von Rieben established his hotel on the site where Byrne Vineyards Scotts Creek property near Morgan now. We can picture that wine was enjoyed at both properties, along with lodgings and supplies and even the delivery of mail. Imagine a post office selling a glass today?

HISTORY OF CLARE VALLEY

The Clare Valley wine region is one of Australia's oldest wine regions, best known for Riesling and Shiraz wines. It lies in the Mid North of South Australia, approximately 120 km north of Adelaide. The original inhabitants of the Clare Valley were the Ngadjuri people. It is believed that they had major camping sites at Clare and Auburn. The first European to reportedly explore the region was John Hill, who arrived in South Australia in 1837 followed by his friend and associate, Edward John Eyre and John Horrocks, who set out with his servant, John Green and established himself in the area now known as Penwortham. This became the first permanent settlement in the valley. Jesuits were settling into the place which would become the town of Sevenhill. Settlers from England and Ireland, as well as more diverse places such as Poland and Silesia continued to progress into the region during the 1840s, producing a rich heritage of architecture and villages, which remain largely intact. Vineyards were planted alongside those first villages and winemaking has continued ever since.

Clare to Morgan is just over an hour’s drive.

Our Team

ROB BYRNE, DIRECTOR BYRNE GROUP

Director of Horticulture and Almond Businesses, Managed wine businesses, Chartered Engineer 1989 - 2010, 40+ years' experience in Byrne Group and agribusiness.

With a diverse background taking in hydraulic engineering, Harvard business school, a senior role at one of Australia's largest wine companies - turning it into one of Australia's iconic brands - and his own enduring love for the Riverland and Clare wine regions, Rob along with brother Terry, is the heart and soul of Byrne Vineyards. An analytical man, Rob brings insight and years of experience to his family's company.

TERRY BYRNE, DIRECTOR BYRNE GROUP

Managed vineyards for 30+ years, Agricultural Science Qualified.

With the strong knowledge and experience of South Australia's wine regions, and the varieties grown on our home properties, we are lucky to have such an innate understanding of our land and vines in the family. Terry is integral as a mentor to the vineyard team and central to the new farm development of high grade crops and innovation at Lone Oak.

WINEMAKERS

PETER GAJEWSKI - WINEMAKER

Peter Gajewski is a very experienced winemaker with over 30 years’ experience working in the wine industry. Peter spent 24 years at Penfolds, which included a stint working alongside the great Max Schubert (the creator of Penfolds Grange), before moving on to be the Chief Winemaker for Hickinbotham's ARH Wines, Roclands and Terrel Estate Wines. Peter has travelled extensively overseas and is very knowledgeable about the market requirements,. Peter has an innate knowledge of our vineyards having established the Scotts Creek vineyards as a young man, selecting the fruit from Scotts Creek as Penfolds Senior Winemaker and now using the estate grown grapes again for Byrne Vineyards. Peter's sense of integrity and innovation is key to the production standards which make up the Byrne Vineyard wines.

PHIL REEDMAN - MASTER OF WINE

Phil Reedman is one of only 315 Masters of Wine worldwide. With over 25 years experience in various fields within the global wine industry, including Wine Development Manager with UK Tesco. Phil is a regular wine show judge at regional, Australian capital city and international wine shows and an educator for the WSET and Institute of Masters of Wine and keynote speaker at industry conferenes. A regular author and blogger Phil is both a key part of our winemaking team and innovations generator. His years of experience in the European market our integral to our export strategy, and he brings superior technical wine knowledge to the blending and developing of wine styles.

MANAGEMENT TEAM

DANNY MACMAHON - CEO BYRNE VINEYARDS

20+ years’ experience in the wine industry, in management, sales, establishing new business. Bachelor of Business; Diploma Wine Marketing.

With a strong background in business and the wine industry, Danny set up Winestyle Australia in Europe as a distribution business for several high-end brands. As Byrne Vineyards began to grow, Winestyle was brought into the Byrne Company, and Danny has come on board as Chief Executive driving the path of our business. A Roseworthy graduate, Danny brings an experienced and intelligent approach to the business of developing Byrne Vineyards on a global scale.

GEOFF ABLETT - GM BYRNE ESTATES

15+ years in large scale Horticulture management including Almonds, Vineyards and Broadacre crops. Advanced Dip Horticulture.

Geoff Ablett is the General Manager of Byrne Estates and brings a wealth of experience in horticulture/agriculture. Vines, Almonds, Broadacre crops and the strategic use of scarce and valuable land. Geoff's passion is for optimising the way we grow with the minimal impact on the soils and precious water source. And he loves a gadget so we may be using drones and smart phone technology for monitoring progress on the property very soon.

ELISE BYRNE - BYRNE CONSERVATION MANAGER

Elise guides the ethics of our company with her tireless work for the Brenda Park Scotts Creek Wetlands Conservation programme as well as establishing our Entwine certification. The photos we receive from Elise on a regular basis of the restored fauna and flora are a continued source of inspiration in our search to continuously innovate, and streamline our business, with a firm nod to the environmental impacts. A nurse when she isn't working the property or on the Wetlands, Elise is a key figure to all of us here at Byrne Vineyards for the example she sets.

PAUL SMITH - BYRNE GROUP FINANCIAL CONTROLLER

CPA qualified accountant with 10+ years’ experience in management accounting for businesses.

Paul Smith is the Financial Controller of Byrne Vineyards. Paul is a CPA qualified accountant and brings to the Byrne Group a professional level of accounting skills and experience. Very approachable and with a can-do attitude, Paul has quickly adapted his skills to the wine industry.

PETRIA BYRNE - BYRNE VINEYARDS OPERATIONS MANAGER

As the daughter of Rob and Judy, Petria has been around the wine industry for her entire life. In her role as Operations Manager, she guides the path of our day to day business, coordinating production and working closely with each member of the team. A shrewd businesswoman, Petria's attitude is one of making things happen in the simplest manner possible, and keeping the business completely streamlined.

ABBIE HEIDT - BYRNE VINEYARDS ADMINISTRATION

Abbie is the attention to detail with experience in the wine industry well over a decade. Accounts, office administration, editor and orders are all part of the service Abbie brings to the team with such enthusiasm. She'll generally be the first person you speak to on the phone so don't hesitate to ask her the tough questions.

SHIRLEY FRASER DE ZOLT - BYRNE GROUP MARKETING AND SALES MANAGER

As a marketing professional with both large corporates and family owned boutique wines, Shirley brings a global market awareness and the strong belief in brand relevance. Experienced in regional wines and strategic planning, she joins the team to seek out new opportunities and create new product offerings utilising a passion for new product development and customer collaboration.

WENDY BIRKETT - BYRNE VINEYARDS EXPORT AND LOGISTICS MANAGER

Wendy has spent much of her working life with the Thomson brand, and is our export and production manager. From the finer details of export negotiation to proof-reading label copy, Wendy's years of experience are invaluable. From her home near our Riverland vineyards, she coordinates production, manages our export clients and has a wealth of information about Byrne Vineyards, and the Riverland wine industry.

MICHAEL STRATER - BYRNE VINEYARDS EUROPEAN SALES MANAGER

Michael Strater is our European Manager based in Germany with over 20 years’ experience in the European wine trade. Michael has built a strong knowledge and experience of Australian wines, which he is able to communicate and share with our European trade partners and customers. Michael provides an important local link to our European partners as he understands the European rules, regulations and customs in wine trade, and is able to respond quickly on behalf of Byrne Vineyards.

ANDY PERCY - BYRNE VINEYARDS UK SALES MANAGER

Andy Percy is our UK/Ireland Manager based south of London, having many years’ experience in the UK wine trade, where he was the Australian Category Manager at PLB. Andy also learned much about the Australian Wine Industry and developed a strong relationship with the Byrne family which now continues as the Byrne Vineyards go-to person in the UK.

BRINGING OUR LAND TO LIFE

At Byrne we take a holistic approach to our farming business. We grow and produce sustainably and in harmony with the natural environment to optimise our output with minimal impact on our surroundings and for future generations to benefit. We produce high quality horticultural produce that is ideally suited to our pristine land and we work closely with our clients and partners around the globe to deliver consistent high quality estate grown produce.

Our Byrne Farms are being developed to incorporate:

  • 500 ha Vineyard and Premium Wine Business
  • 450 ha Almond orchard
  • 700 ha Premium Lucerne Fodder production
  • 2400 ha Wetlands and wildlife habitat
  • Luxury Eco Suite Tourism Accommodation



SOUTH AUSTRALIAN PROVENANCE

The Growing conditions in South Australia are ideally suited for these horticultural products and South Australia is internationally recognised for its premium food and wine from its clean environment as well as being a centre for excellence in Research and Development and growing of these products. Provenance is pivotal when we develop market tailored offerings from our estate, and we have a strong service mentality in the supply of our products to the marketplace.

  • Strong family values of integrity
  • Premium quality and high specification produce capability
  • Strong and experienced management and skilled workforce
  • International distribution experience, knowledge and network relationships
  • Recognition as a leader in water management and sustainability

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