After hand picking, the grapes to produce the Shiraz “Lioness of McLaren Vale” Dandelion Vineyards were kept as whole bunches and fermented in open top fermenters. Fermentation lasted 12 days with daily hand-plunging. The wine was then basket pressed into predominately older French oak barriques, to mature for a further 18 months before bottling without fining or filtration.
The “Lioness of McLaren Vale” is sourced from a single vineyard in the foothills of McLaren Vale. Old Shiraz vines are planted in the ironstone pebble laden clay loam, over ancient Kurrajong Formation geology, a silica cemented conglomerate.
Dandelion Vineyards is the venture of self-titled ‘typist’ Zar Brooks and his winemaking wife Elena, with wines made from the Barossa and Eden Valleys, Fleurieu, the Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale. Nick Stock, one of Australia’s leading journalists, has described Dandelion as follows: “Brooks has teamed up with his winemaking wife Elena, a woman whose talents are outweighed only by her tolerance, in an exciting new venture called Dandelion Vineyards. The approach is remarkably simple and sees Elena making wine from a suite of beautiful old vineyards across that blessed curve that runs from the Barossa, up through the Eden Valley and Adelaide Hills and down into McLaren Vale.”