Mary Byrnes Wines
Address: Cnr Rees and Jacobsen Roads, Ballandean QLD 4382
Phone: 07 4684 1111
Mobile: 0402 299 783
Fax: 07 4684 1312
Details: Winery processing all own estate grown grapes which are Rhone Valley varieties plus Black Hamburg Muscat.
Mary Byrnes following her life long interest in wine bought a stone fruit orchard and table grape vineyard at Ballandean, Granite Belt, Queensland in 1990. Her pursuit of her wine interests were put on hold for 30 years while she raised her six children and pursued her professional career as a computer programmer/analyst.
In 1995 in her late forties she commenced part-time university studies at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga and in April 2001 graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Science (Wine Science) and was elected a Professional Member of the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology Inc in June of the same year.
While the study was being undertaken, field work was also happening. Soil tests were commissioned, climate records studied and most importantly local knowledge of the area was acquired. The existing property "Tajoura" saw the uneconomic stone fruit and table grapes removed, property fenced, and dams built.
Marys first vintage was 1995 when a small quantity of Shiraz was made from an old block on the property and Liqueur Muscat from the Black Hamburg table grape. Assistance and guidance in this vintage was provided by two experienced wine makers in the district. The Shiraz was drunk by the family while the two barrels of Liqueur Muscat are the foundation for a Solero system to be released in 2005. The winery is small but reflects the personal hands on approach.
New plantings commenced in 1993. The vineyard has now been established with approximately half the vines on root-stock and the balance on rootlings raised in her own nursery. Traditionally plantings in the region have been on 3metre trellis spacings that were dictated by the size of older style farming equipment sprayers and tractors. For a variety of reasons the traditional trellis spacing has been successfully challenged thereby increasing the tonnage per hectare while limiting the yield per vine by up to 50%.
The Cellar Door and Mail Order business was opened in March 2001 with five styles (all reds) available. Vintage 2002 saw the white styles of Viognier and Marsanne added to the range. The release of the 2003 red vintage will include Grenache, a popular GSM (Grenache/Shiraz/ Mourvdre) blend and the 2004 vintage also includes a small quantity of Roussanne(white).
The overall operation reflects Marys empathy with the environment, nature and operational practices.
Wherever possible small releases with no preservatives are made and to date 1995 Shiraz is still an excellent drop.
Opened: February 2001