Burnbrae Vineyards have had several owners during its life time however in 1968 Allan Ellis and his wife Joyce took over Burnbrae and farmed the land, selling to the Turisse family who planted grapes in 1971. Wine production began in 1976 in an open-air winery situated under the shady peppercorn trees.
The name Burnbrae means “the field sloping down to a stream” which describes the picturesque location.
The Turisse’s planted about 20 acres of Black Muscats. A few years later they planted Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. They originally made the wine for personal use and sold table grapes and wine grapes to the markets.
A fully functional winery started to be developed in the 90’s and has progressively been added to over the years. The winery can now produce over 180 Tonnes a year.
The original well developed and cared for grapes continue to flourish within the vineyard; with the addition over the years of Merlot and Chardonnay grapes.
Traditionally Mudgee Shiraz grapes are renown for being very earthy in flavour. The grape is very rich and sweet, a typical warmer climate Australian shiraz, when the grapes are crushed, are fermented in open vats with the wine frequently pumped over the skins, pressed in the old fashioned, hand-operated baskets then into French or American oak barrels for no less than 12 months.
Very few wines can match the richness of the ripe black fruit, the heartiness, and sheer good Australian-ness of a good shiraz. The greatness of shiraz grapes is the direct effect it has on your senses, you don’t have to really think to enjoy it, it just happens, it will work magic on your tongue.
Australian Cabernet Sauvignon is more approachable then anywhere in the world especially from the warmer regions. This grape is considered to be an aristocrat of the vine, upright, sturdy, refined and produces small tight bunches.
Mudgee receives enough sunshine to create more mellow tannins and sweeter fruit flavours in the grape skins.
Cabernet grapes do very well as a single varietal wine however it is now tending to be blended with other varieties. This is either done to soften the cabernet if it’s on the hard side or to add complexity to the finished drink.
Cabernet Sauvignon is complemented by an amazing tradition beef meal. The flavours of both the wine and food work wonders on the palette.
Chardonnay has a wide-ranging reputation for relative ease of cultivation and ability to adapt to different conditions. The grape is very “malleable”, in that it reflects and takes on the impression of its terroir and winemaker.
Chardonnay tends to be medium to light body with noticeable acidity and flavours of green plum, apple and pear. In warmer locations such as Mudgee the flavours become more citrus, peach and melon. At Burnbrae we’ve been producing our Chardonnay using a newer style of winemaking, with less of an oak driven flavour.
Chardonnay is an important component of many sparkling wines around the world, including Champagne and has been used for also for our Cuvee.
Muscat grapes and wines almost always have a pronounced sweet floral aroma. The breadth and number of varieties of Muscat suggest that it is perhaps the oldest domesticated grape variety.
Some of the finest muscat in the world is made in Australia, which has the necessary hot climate to produce high sugar content grapes making it a luscious dessert wine.
A softer more perfumed grape, usually blended with the likes of Cabernet, sometimes referred to and ‘Cabernet’s little sister’. Merlot is an early drinking wine with soft tannins, a fragrance of ripe raspberry with side notes of leather to tobacco. We use our Merlot to produce the perfectly blended Clive Gale in our range.