About

Gaelic Cemetery Gaelic Cemetery

Gaelic Cemetery Vineyard crafts small volumes of super premium Clare Valley wines that reflect the variety, vintage and uniqueness of the place. Gaelic Cemetery Vineyard is a highly awarded, James Halliday five star rated wine brand with multiple medals and trophies won at Clare Valley wine shows. The wines from Gaelic Cemetery Vineyard are packaged using fully recyclable materials including the bottles, corks, screwcaps and cartons that are used. Our wines are also vegan friendly.

  

Our Rieslings

The Rieslings made by Gaelic Cemetery Vineyard are very much in the modern, dry Australian style. Our aim each year is to pick earlier rather than later with the emphasis on retaining good levels of natural acidity and capturing freshness of fruit. The grapes are both machine and hand harvesting depending on the season and the block.

The grapes are for the most part de-stemmed, crushed and chilled prior to being drained off through a membrane press. Some smaller parcels of fruit may be handpicked and whole bunch pressed depending on the season. While the pressings are usually discarded the free run juice is partially clarified by cold settling for a number of days. After racking off solids the juice is then inoculated with a pure yeast culture and fermentation is carried out in stainless steel, temperature controlled tanks.

Some solids may be retained in the “Premium” Riesling fermentation for additional texture and complexity, however we prefer to ferment the “Celtic Farm” Riesling as clear settled juice.

Fermentation lasts on average for 25-30 days and we usually look to retain a small amount of residual sugar in the wines – stopping the ferment somewhere between 3-5 g/L. From here the wine stays in tank on yeast lees for 4-5 months before clarification and finally bottling. We only use PVPP which is a synthetic fining compound on the Rieslings. There are some plant based fining agents coming on to the market now which we are planning to trial going forward.

 

Our Reds

As far as the Gaelic Cemetery Vineyard Reds go, the vineyard naturally produces quite powerful wines and our challenge is to harness that strength to make wines of balance. We encourage the wild yeasts of the vineyard to carry out the fermentation which is typically 10-12 days – the first few days being a cold soak prior to the yeast kicking in and starting the ferment.

Pressing towards the end of the primary fermentation is followed by filling into new and used French oak 228L casks to finish off. The secondary or malolactic fermentation is also natural and occurs in barrel. The wine is racked several times during the maturation process and will stay in barrel for an average of 18 months before final selection, blending and subsequent bottling.

Finings are not added and little or no filtration is carried out prior to bottling in an attempt to protect as much of the vineyard character as possible.

 

History

Our vineyard was established in 1996 on a parcel of land immediately adjacent to the historic Gaelic Cemetery approximately five kilometres due north of the Clare township – hence the name. The Gaelic Cemetery Vineyard label design reflects the simplicity and minimal intervention approach we take with the wine. The image of the thistle is taken from an old headstone in the cemetery.

 

The Team

The Gaelic Cemetery Vineyard brand was sold in late 2019 and has continued to go from strength to strength. The Pike family created an excellent brand and award-winning wine with Gaelic Cemetery. Our aim is to further support this excellent foundation to ensure the business grows organically and sustainably over the long term.

Click the video below to learn more from our winemaker.