When Tony Brooks’ grandfather purchased Pindarie in 1957, he used the Aboriginal word for ‘hilly place’ as its name. It couldn’t have been a more appropriate label for the working farm and vineyard that sits amongst rolling hills and ridges in the Barossa Valley.
Today, Tony and his wife Wendy operate the 100-acre vineyard and 750-acre farm as sole proprietors. As a sixth generation pastoralist, Tony was naturally drawn to the raw potential of Pindarie’s land and stone buildings. Following a period in the early 1980s working as a Jackaroo, he returned to South Australia to study at Roseworthy Agricultural College, where he met Wendy. After graduating Tony travelled for a number of years managing sheep feedlots in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Jordan, before returning to purchase half of the family property. Meanwhile, Wendy joined the Penfolds Wine Group and worked her way up to Senior Viticulturalist.
Today, Wendy and Tony live in the original Schwarz homestead. From there, they oversee the maintenance of Pindarie’s entirely estate-grown vines, as well as breeding sheep, which graze on the hillier paddocks of the property. The winery’s unique style comes from the site where shiraz, tempranilo and cabernet sauvignon grapes have been matched to the patchwork of soils around the property. Their animals and vines harmoniously co-exist with the surrounding native vegetation, with sheep providing the perfect natural fertilizer and method for weed control.
Peter Leske is the Head Winemaker, having previously worked for extended vintage periods at a host of prestigious French estates in Burgundy, the Rhône, Bordeaux and Limoux. His winemaking philosophy is based on watching and learning from the vines and trying to respect the fruit by applying a light touch in the production process.
Pindarie produces varieties in a climate characterised by winter-dominant rainfall and hot, dry summers. The stonier sections of the Western Ridge produce high intensity fruit, from which the exclusive Black Hinge wines are produced. This flagship offering is a series of exclusive wines made in exceptional vintages from the best of the vineyard. The Black Hinge Shiraz is tight yet rich, balanced but firmly tannic and gets better with age. Similarly, the tempranillo’s spicy, fleshy opulence and lower acidity balances its characteristic late-palate tannins, but also ensures that it gathers complexity after two years in the bottle.
It’s not just the winemaking that Tony and Wendy ensure is sustainable. This philosophy extends to the restoration of Pindarie’s original farm buildings, which Tony restored by hand over a 20-year period – a testament to his ingenuity, resourcefulness and craftsmanship.
The old grain room and heritage stables are now home to Pindarie’s award winning Cellar Door where you can taste the full range of estate grown wines with spectacular 180-degree views of the vineyards and Barossa Ranges. Pindarie offers visitors the best of the Barossa, a place to relax and enjoy seasonal lunches of local produce while watching children play and explore the working property.