The puns could continue, but the reason for the success of 'Down To Earth' from the Villiera stable is the quality of the soil in which the grapes are grown. The roots of the vine penetrate deep down into the rich and varied earth, extracting minerals that feed the grape bunches creating a unique flavour for wine-making.Read More
Wine-maker Jeff Grier would modestly tell you that the wine is created by nature, but the truth is that the other defining aspect of this wine is skilled blending. Given that it is not the predominant grape variety, it might surprise you to know that this wine began life as a Shiraz. Jeff felt that the Shiraz he'd produced did not have enough fruit, and in adding the Touriga Nacional, he brought the wine to life, showing what a skilled art form blending is.
Touriga Nacional is a robust, thick-skinned and quite high-yielding variety. Mainly found in Portugal's Douro Valley, this variety has been grown there since the 19th century and is regularly used in the production of port. Thought to be the best of the port grapes, fortified wine is also derived from this variety in Australia.
There are also significant plantings in South Africa, where it is usually used to produce hefty varietal table wines that are a speciality of the country. The grape is also referred to as 'Tinta Barocca' in South Africa, although in this case Jeff has stuck with the Portuguese spelling.