The fruit for the Brash Higgins NDV, SHZ and CBSV is 100% sourced from Brash and Nicole’s Omensetter Vineyard. Certified Organic since 2017 through ACO, we take great pride in the health and quality of the fruit off this excellent site.
Planted in 1997, the vineyard sits on a great patch of dirt on the south-western lip of McLaren Vale, Australia, situated on seven hectares of red-brown clay over limestone (Ngaltinga Formation and Pirramimma Sandstone) with an eastern sloping aspect, offering grand views to the Willunga Escarpment and Gulf of St. Vincent. The cooling Gulf breezes keep disease pressure to a minimum and the acidity levels balanced in the fruit.
The clay and sandstone soils provide excellent drainage as well as good water retention. The vineyard is hand pruned in winter and organically farmed throughout the seasons. It is irrigated only when necessary by a drought-fighting recharge bore. Brash Higgins is a charter member of McLaren Vale Sustainable Winegrowing Australia– mclarenvale.info/sustainable-winegrowing/overview/.
3.6 hectares are given over to Shiraz (planted to own rootstock) and 2 hectares to Cabernet Sauvignon (Reynella clone). Sicilian red variety Nero d’Avola (clone Matura 1 grafted to own rootstock shiraz) makes up the final 1.2 hectares of the vineyard. The first harvest of Nero d’Avola was in 2011. Each harvest, the Nero d’Avola grapes are fermented and matured on skins and seeds for six months in 200 litre clay amphoras hand created for the winery by Adelaide master potter, John Bennett, from local clay soils very similar to Omensetter.The latest edition is a small planting, half an acre, of the white grape Crystal. With origins in China and Greece, our eventual material was brought over to the Vale after WW2 by a young Greek immigrant named Chris Pappas in his suitcase. A variety he used to make his beloved ouzo at home in Greece, and couldn’t live without when he left home, Chris became a well known grape grower in the Vale and raised a family here. 60 years later in 2007, a new-to-the-area BH met Chris and they became friends. Much ouzo was consumed and eventually the story of the suitcase cuttings came to light.
Propagation began of the first commercial block of Crystal grapes began in 2012 on Omensetter, planted on own roots. Up until then the only planting was along the Pappas fence line at his Adelaide home. Virus free and properly identified by the formidable French DNA library, and, more importantly, well suited for our warm, dry summer, the grapes are now used for a sparkling wine we make at HQ, invariably called “CRYSTAL”. Chris Pappas passed away in 2017 after a full life and this planting, the first of its kind in Oz, we consider a loving legacy to the man and his journey. Ya mas! To our health.