Sebastiano Brini arrived in McLaren Vale from Italy in 1950 with a suitcase, five pounds and a passion for growing grapes. He spoke no English.
Like many European immigrants of this time he worked hard to establish a better life in his new country. He worked as a labourer in local vineyards and by 1953 had saved enough money to purchase a property in Blewitt Springs. At the time, two thirds of the property was used to run dairy cows and the other third had established grapevines (Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro), planted by returned serviceman in the late 1940's as part of a soldier settlement scheme.
With the help of his family, the property was progressively planted to all grapevines and the varieties now include Shiraz, Grenache, Mataro, Merlot, and Chenin Blanc for a total planting of 17 hectares. Planting occurred in the mid to late 1940’s, the 1960’s and late 1990’s. Over the years the vineyard has gained a proud reputation of supplying grapes to some of Australia's finest red wine producers including Penfolds, Rosemount Dárenberg and Maglieri. In 1988 Sebastiano died as a result of a tractor accident and sons Marcello and John continued to manage the vineyard. In the year 2000 John and Marcello established Brini Estate Wines to produce small batches of premium quality wines from the vineyard they grew up on.
The Brini Family vineyard is located in the picturesque hills north of Blewitt Springs (a sub region of McLaren Vale), which is world-renowned for its ability to produce outstanding Shiraz and Grenache.
The soil type is predominantly deep sand to sandy loam over clay with gravel ironstone outcrops a rare soil structure not readily found in Australian vineyards. The undulating slopes provide good drainage allowing a deep and extensive root system and subsequently robust vines that can tolerate long periods of hot dry weather. In contrast to the relatively fertile soils of the McLaren Vale valley floor the the soil in the hills tends to be leaner. This is not necessarily a bad thing as the vine’s struggle to obtain nutrients is reflected in the impeccable fruit quality and flavour, but also results in smaller yields.
The vineyard is planted at an average 200 metres above sea level and about 130 metres above the McLaren Vale valley floor. The higher one goes the cooler the air gets and combined with the cooling evening sea breezes the ripening period is prolonged resulting in wines that attain that elusive combination of power elegance and concentration.
Blewitt Springs has a typical rainfall in the range 560mm to 720 mm per year and has very much a Mediterranean climate.The majority of rain falls in winter with little rain in summer. Summer is particularly hot and dry allowing for ideal ripening conditions. All vines planted before 1997 were established as dry grown ( ie no irrigation ) - 2 of of our Grenache blocks still remain so. The remainder of the vineyard is marginally irrigated from the 4 dams on the property