Wirra Wirra Wirra Wirra Wirra Wirra

Our Culture

Where no idea is deemed too big, outlandish or improbable; where eccentricity has been the rule rather than the exception and having fun is a serious business.

Tales tall & true

These tales are key to the fabric of Wirra Wirra and are perpetuated by the faithful tribe that have come and gone over the years.

Introduction

Wirra Wirra Vineyards was originally established in 1894 by known South Australian eccentric and cricketer Robert Strangways Wigley. The winery prospered in its early days, producing many wines including a much acclaimed Shiraz, which was exported to England and the Empire until his death in 1926. The winery ran into disrepair and was eventually abandoned. In 1969 under the watchful eye of the late Greg Trott and his cousin Roger, the winery was rebuilt from the remnants of two walls and some slate fermenting tanks. As with all subsequent Trott endeavours, it was the sheer magnitude and unlikeliness of the project that made it so attractive.

Church Block

An Australian favourite.

Church Block was the first wine the late Greg Trott produced under the Wirra Wirra label back in 1972. He took the name from one of the original vineyards, which runs next to the small Bethany Church (Est 1854) across the road from Wirra Wirra’s century old ironstone cellars. Over four decades, the Church Block label has become an Australian favourite.

In 2009 we celebrated the 10 year anniversary since we phased out cork closures and moved to screw caps, by creating the world’s largest cork sculpture – a 10M tall bottle of Church Block.

RGT Collection

The Catapult

The late Greg Trott saw many of his unusual dreams realised at Wirra Wirra. Yet one vision eluded him – to build a medieval siege machine, or trebuchet. Why? To use as a catapult to bomb neighbouring wineries with bottles of wine, of course. Trott believed that if other wineries followed suit, he would have created a major tourism drawcard for his beloved McLaren Vale.

We fulfilled Trott’s ambition when we had our very own trebuchet built in 2010. While we don’t bomb our neighbours with wine bottles, we do hurl watermelons into a neighbouring paddock. Just because we can. Oh, and this is where the Catapult Shiraz gets its name.

Flagship Range

The Pie Cart Incident

From one of the oldest grenache blocks in McLaren Vale, came the opportunity to create a wine whose heritage dates back to our founder Robert Strangways Wigley’s time. Wigley was an eccentric whose lust for life had at times seen him fall foul of the law in his home town.

In fact, one episode involving the "acquisition" of the famous Adelaide pie-cart and a joy ride through the city streets was the catalyst for banishment to McLaren Vale. However Wigley did not abscond into the wilderness (although his wayward antics served as inspiration for our single vineyard grenache, The Absconder!). He became known for his world class wines - including fortifieds made with the grenache of the day - and helped to build the reputation of McLaren Vale.

Mrs. Wigley

The ideal companion.

Mrs. Wigley (1977-1993) was not the wife of Wirra Wirra founder Bob Wigley, but a particular pussycat who was born at the neighbouring Petrucci residence. Within days, she had settled in our open fermenters and from then on Mrs. Wigley became a permanent feature of the cellars.

Scrubby Rise

The Jetty

When the Wirra Wirra tribe built a viewing platform to take in the majestic outlook over our Scrubby Rise vineyard, it was soon christened The Jetty. The fact this structure overlooks sedentary vines and not a raging sea seemed somehow appropriate given Greg Trott’s decision all those years ago to name a flat, barren landscape Scrubby Rise.

Our Scrubby Rise labels features the artwork of acclaimed surrealist artist Andrew Baines and feature a man in a suit and bowler hat rowing a boat across the vineyards. Today if you look out from the jetty, you will see the man in his boat, brought to life between the rows of vines.

The founders

Greg Trott and Robert (Bob) Strangways Wigley never met. Trott, who rebuilt the winery in 1969, wasn’t born when the founder of Wirra Wirra Mark 1 passed away. But they shared much in common. A love of the game of cricket is probably a good place to start.

Wigley represented his State in the game and in his time was deemed to be one of the great authorities on the subject. Trott never reached such lofty heights, but dreamed of representing his country (see The 12th Man) and went to the extreme of converting the hallway in his house into a cricket pitch, complete with creases marked on the floor and stumps painted on the end wall.

Did we also mention that they were both rather eccentric…

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  • Blitzen's Biodynamic Belter $160.00

    2 x 2014 Amator Nouveau Grenache Touriga Mataro, 2 x 2013 Amator Shiraz, 2 x 2013 Amator Cabernet Sauvignon.(Valued at $180)

  • Santa's Top Shelf 6-pack $370.00

    2 x ’12 RSW Shiraz - Gold Medal Winner Royal Melbourne Show2 x ’12 The Angelus Cabernet Sauvignon - Gold Royal Adelaide 2 x ’13 The Absconder Grenache (normally $420)

  • Deck the Halls Dozen $240.00

    2 x ‘13 Scrubby Rise Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Viognier2 x '14 Lost Watch Riesling2 x ’14 Mrs Wigley MoscatoComplimentary Wine Dogs Calendar featuring our new Vineyard dog (normally $270)2 x ’12 Catapult Shiraz2 x ’12 Church Block2 x ’12 Woodhenge Shiraz

  • Magnum Church Block 2012 (1.5L) $70.00

    40th Anniversary Gift Boxed 1.5L.Church Block was the first wine the late Greg Trott produced under the Wirra Wirra label back in 1972. Over four decades, this smooth blend of cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and merlot has become an Australian favourite. Offers immediate drinking pleasure or medium term cellaring potential.

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