Our history

Blog full 1847 turkey flat shiraz landscape copy

The birth of Turkey Flat took place in 1847 when a far-sighted Silesian refugee Johann Frederick August Fiedler planted Shiraz vines in the rich alluvial soils adjacent to the Bethany Creek. Fiedler was the brother-in-law to Pastor August Kavel, who led the German emigrants to Australia’s Barossa Valley, and he settled on one of the first parcels of land to be surveyed in the area.

Turkey Flat is the local name for the vineyard property and is believed to be so named by the original settlers in the late 1840’s after the large flocks of native bush turkeys (Australian Bustard) in the area. Local artist Rod Schubert was commissioned for the design of the label. It is his depiction of the native bush turkey that gives bottles of Turkey Flat wine their distinctive elegance. Each wine has its own personalised turkey to distinguish them from one another.

The Turkey Flat vineyards and winery are now situated on the historic Section One property in the centre of the Barossa. The Schulz family became owners of the Turkey Flat property in around 1865 and while they continued to tend the ancient vineyard, they also developed a thriving butchers business.

The sensitively restored bluestone butchers shop is now the wine sales and private tasting room referred as 'The Butcher's Block Room' for the company.

Turkey Flat wines are made from individual vineyard estates. The original Section One vineyard has the Shiraz, Grenache and small parcels of Mourvedre, Rousanne and Viognier. The highly regarded Cabernet Sauvignon is grown on the banks of the Bethany Creek in a small picturesque vineyard surrounded by ancient gum trees. The “Butchers Block” blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre is sourced from the Stonewell estate. This vineyard is planted on a unique combination of red-brown earth soils (terra rosa) on a unique underlying limestone base. The Marsanne plantings are also at Stonewell.

Most of our vineyards survive only on natural rainfall, and where supplementary water is applied this is done so in very small amounts, and only to maintain healthy leaves and not to increase production. Our vineyard yields vary from 10 tonne/hectare for Rosé production to 2 tonne/hectare for our Shiraz.

All of the Turkey Flat wines are made in our Bethany Road winery using traditional open fermenters. We include cap plunging, cold maceration, submerged cap fermentation and “pumping over” in our winemaking. Barrel fermentation is followed by maturation in new and seasoned French oak hogsheads and barriques. Our climate controlled barrel hall as well as bottling on the estate further enhances the quality and delicacy of all of our wines.

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