James Halliday on our history

The Schulz family's connection with Lot 1 in the Hundred of Moorooroo (and the shiraz vines planted on it by Johann Fiedler in 1847) dates back to 1865. In that year the family purchased the Barossa Valley property and, as well as tending to the vines, built a thriving butcher's shop business in a bluestone building. In the financially turbulent 1930s, the butchers shop was leased to the Lindner family, the vineyard retained in Schulz family ownership. Twenty years on the building suffered the indignity of becoming a tractor shed; whether its conversion to an apricot drying shed in the 1970s was for the better is debatable, but its redemption in the maelstrom of the oversupply of red grapes that came to a head in 1987 could never have been predicted. Incorporation of shiraz grapes into muffins; carbon fining stripping colour and flavour from Barossa red wines to produce miserable white wines; and grape prices below the cost of production led to the State Government Vine Pull Scheme. It provided an opportunity for Christie and then husband Peter Schulz (with two young children) to buy the vineyard and butcher's shop (in 1987) from third-generation owner John Schulz, tempted by the government scheme. To say it was a courageous decision barely does it justice.

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18/07/2014

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The Vineyards

Turkey Flat owns two estate vineyards within the Barossa Valley- the original 'Turkey Flat' near Bethany, and the sloping, westerly-facing Stonewell in the heart of the Barossa Valley. They are both in very different sub-regions and give us the ability to blend the attributes of each subregion into our wines. To a large degree our winemaking begins in the vineyard. We spend a great deal of time managing vine vigour, controlling shoot growth as well as shoot and bunch thinning. This helps to reduce yields and open up the vines to let in the sunlight. We are also spending a lot more time trying to understand when the grapes are mature. We are not industrial winemakers and try at all times to keep the winemaking process simple and traditional, to not interfere with the true expression of the vineyard.

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13/11/2012

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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.

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12/11/2012

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