It’s been a busy, crazy and enjoyable three months at The Shiraz Republic. Before we get carried away with the arrival of Spring, here’s a write-up of what we’ve been up to over winter. While pruning has dominated the day to day workings of the vineyard, we’ve been busy upgrading our winery & brewery, meeting new demand for Rent-A-Row and finding ourselves with unexpected, but welcome media attention.

Rent-A-Row In The Media

Our experiential winemaking gift concept, Rent-A-Row, has been getting plenty of coverage in the media over the past months. What started with a feature in The Age, has spread to the President featuring on ABC Radio 774, Radio 3AW, a feature in the Weekly Times, The Australian, and our inclusion in The Broadsheet’s guide to Heathcote.

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The Age

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As a small family-run business, we are absolutely stoked to be receiving this attention. It speaks to the concept of Rent-A-Row, in that it is resonating with people that love wine and it gives them the opportunity to demystify the process of winemaking by allowing them to do it themselves. After expanding to 15 Rent-A-Row winemakers in 2016, we are on track to quadruple that number in 2017 with 40 customers already signed up for next harvest.

Heathcote On-Show

2016 was our first appearance at this regional cellar door festival and it proved to be a hoot. We experienced a lot of traffic over the 3-day Queen’s Birthday weekend, both via foot (car) and through a shuttle bus service organised with our neighbours.

Rent-A-Row winemakers came up to see how there wine was travelling and to rack (transfer) their wine into a fresh container to remove sediment. It’s amazing to see how different each individual wine tastes, even at this early stage.

But most importantly, the weekend served as a soft-launch for our craft beer label, Cornella Real – and as a result of the feedback (we sold out of all our stock), the last three months have been focused on upgrading and improving our brewery with the aim to be at a commercial level by the latter part of the year.

Brewery & Upgraded Crush Pad

Following on from a busy harvest with Rent-A-Row, where space for winemaking was limited – we have expanded our winery to create a crush pad for our Rent-A-Row winemakers and separate area to house our brewery. We are yet to fully realise the advantages of the new space, but are sure to appreciate the cover and shade come harvest.

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As we are heading into Spring and commence brewing on a larger scale, we will be running a number of events throughout the latter part of the year and throughout summer. This starts with a budburst weekend on the 17th and 18th of September, followed by the Heathcote Wine & Food Festival, where we will be pouring beers at night at the Union Hotel as part of a Heathcote Craft Beer Showcase.

Check out what’s happening on our Events page

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