The Woodstock winery is located in McLaren Vale, just south of Adelaide. Whilst it is very much an Australian producer, its name actually derives from England. In the quaint town of Woodstock in Oxfordshire stands a set of wooden leg stocks. In Medieval times, these stocks were used to punish the local townsfolk who had over imbibed. As a cheeky nod to the town’s history, Woodstock has named its flagship wine, the ‘Stocks’ Shiraz.
Whilst Woodstock may owe its name to English antiquity, it has created its own history when it comes to its vineyards. Owner, Scott Collett, sources his grapes from 18 hectares of vineyards which include Shiraz vines that are up to 110 years old. Many people see Australia very much as a “New World” producer, but vineyards such as these are a timely reminder of its long history of winemaking.
Grape vines are usually ripped up and replaced after twenty to thirty years, as the older they get, the less productive they become. But, while grape productivity may decrease, the concentration of flavours in the grapes intensify each year. For winemakers like Collett, who prize quality above all else, his Shiraz vines planted in 1900 are the jewels in the winery’s crown and undoubtedly responsible for the immense concentration and complexity of his ‘Stocks’ Shiraz.