Chris Ringland: From grape to glass

By Halliday Promotion

22 Aug, 2022

The relationship between winemaker and grape grower is one of trust. Nowhere is that more evident than in the case of iconic Barossa-based winemaker Chris Ringland and fifth-generation grape grower Adrian Hoffmann.

Over his 40-plus year career, Chris Ringland has developed a reputation for producing premium shiraz. From his entry-level CR Barossa Shiraz to his top-tier Dry Grown Barossa Ranges Shiraz, his trademark winemaking style can be tasted in every drop.

Chris Ringland crouched down with his arm resting on a vine in the vineyardChris Ringland's career spans over 40 years.

The Hoffmann family have been working the land within the subregion of Ebenezer in the Barossa Valley since the late 1850s, supplying grapes commercially since the 1880s. The grapes they produce are widely considered to be among the country’s best, and are consistently sought after by wineries across Australia.

Chris and fifth-generation grape grower Adrian Hoffmann have known each other since the early ’90s, and in the decades since, their working relationship has grown into a strong friendship. In 2004, they made their first wines together, culminating in their first release of the Chris Ringland Hoffmann Vineyard Shiraz from the 2006 vintage eight years later.

Adrian Hoffmann in the vineyard wearing a grey poloAdrian Hoffmann is a fifth-generation grape grower.

Many winemakers prefer to be involved in the grape growing process; to have input on everything from vine and canopy management to when the fruit is picked. Such is the trust that Chris has in Adrian’s skill and understanding of his family vineyards that every viticultural decision is left to him. 

Adrian understands Chris’s style. Strong, well-structured and long-living wines, that undergo extended barrel maturation in predominately new French oak and spend time in bottle prior to release. He ensures the style of fruit he produces is going to be exactly what Chris needs, regardless of any challenges the seasons may throw at him.

The Chris Ringland vineyardThe Hoffmann Vineyard.

For Adrian, the process doesn’t end when he delivers fruit. Making this relationship unique is their ongoing collaboration during barrel maturation and blending to exemplify the style of shiraz from the red brown earth of Ebenezer. Chris and Adrian’s close relationship ensures top Hoffmann fruit is vinified and rigorous barrel selections are made. Production of their iconic collaborative shiraz is small, with around 2000 bottles and 100 magnums filled from each vintage.

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