Brash Higgins 2022 ‘CRYSTAL’ Sparkling White


Here’s a bubbling wine with a  grape variety and style for Brash Higgins that, once again, we made hardly any of. A sparkling  Pet Nat wine made with Organic Crystal grapes.

We sourced the Crystal cuttings originally from a Greek grower in the Vale, Chris Pappas. Chris was part of a wave of Greek and Italian men that migrated to Australia after WW2 to make their future and help build the Aussie infrastructure. Clandestinely, he brought over a few cuttings of the white grape Crystal in his suitcase from his Greek hometown of Zitsa in the 1950’s to make his beloved ouzo here in his new home, McLaren Vale. His patch of Crystal is planted along his family home’s fence line in Adelaide.  We drank ouzo with him 50 years later, first in 2007, and many times after that, and it was darn good. The conversation eventually led to asking him for more info on the grapes he used. He said he couldn’t remember what the grapes were called, but would get back to me.

Eight years later, he finally got us a cutting. We sent it to France for DNA testing tout suite, as one does, since they have the largest vinous DNA library in the world. It came back “CRYSTAL”. We cleared it as virus free, then propagated 100 cuttings in the garden next to our house. The next Spring we ripped a new vineyard on Omensetter out behind the winery and planted the baby vines in 2016 on their own roots. Once it was a success, we duly registered the grape with Wine Australia.

The 2022 is the fifth wine, and it’s a wild one.

Tasting note: “Deeper golden hue. On the nose the wine is ALIVE! There’s straw, bread and beer notes; then heaps of juicy, frothy apple and pear, yuzu and ginger ale notes in the mouth, the wine finishes with some wild honey notes and an apple combo of the sweetness of Golden Delicious contrasted with the tart bite of a Granny Smith. Finished clean and pure. Unfiltered.” Aug 27, 2022-Brad Hickey, Vinitor

No SO2, so keep it cold, please. Unfiltered, so sediment exists. Crown Seal.
pH 3.4, TA 7.4, Alc 13%, 50 Cases.