Karra Yerta Wines - Barossa Ranges
Karra Yerta Wines is a family-owned boutique winery situated high in the beautiful Flaxmans Valley, Barossa Hills area of the Mt Lofty Ranges, South Australia. The Barossa Hills region, also known as the Barossa Ranges, including Keyneton, Eden Valley, Flaxmans Valley and Springton - is generally classed as land from above 300m to 600m sea level, and is noticeably cooler than the Barossa Valley “floor”, so the grapes take longer to mature here. Therefore, vintage is about a month later than on the valley floor and due to this, some believe that the hills grapes have more body and flavour than grapes harvested from the lower grounds. In fact, the Eden Valley area was recently named as the region that produces the worlds best riesling.
James and Marie Linke of Karra Yerta Wines live in arguably the finest Riesling growing area in the country; the cool reaches of the Eden Valley. Their Riesling vines are 75 years old and the fruit they produce is quite stunning in its flavour and richness. If the adage that all the best things come in small packets is true, then Karra Yerta Wines are probably what the phrase was coined for initially as their output is a mere 100 - 150 cases per year of this quite sublime wine. The vineyard is just 1½ acres of Riesling and less than 1 acre of 45 year old Shiraz with a small parcel of 75 year old Frontignac currently being resurrected to make a “sticky” in the coming years. Fruit for their other wines, an Eden Valley Cabernet and a Barossa Shiraz are sourced from other premium vineyards in the region.
The Linke vines are in the field next to those of cult winemaker Chris Ringland whose wines are all sold out virtually before they are made such is their reputation for quality. (Just try and get a bottle….good luck!) That’s not to say that just because your neighbour is making good stuff that automatically you are too, it’s just that similar vines in similar soil in the same environment with similar micro-climate conditions are likely to give similar quality results and I think most of us would agree that good wine starts in the vineyard.
Originally making wines just for their own and their friends consumption the Linkes were encouraged a few years ago to make their wine available to the public but such is the limited supply that bottles are like hens teeth in their rarity. Outbacchus are fortunate in getting exclusive access to a small parcel of just 1 pallet to show the discerning wine drinkers of the UK how beautiful this remarkable grape variety can be. The wine is drinking superbly now but has great aging capacity and will cellar well for 10+ years.