Wildflower Playing with 🔥 2021 will be available online and for tasting and take-away/collection at our cellar door from 12pm (Sydney time) on Friday 2 September 2022.
Playing with 🔥 is a beer made for the Terroir Project Festival conceptualised by Firestone Walker Brewing Company. A fermentation of golden wort with and by hand harvested Semillon bunches from Tyrrell’s Estate in Pokolbin, NSW.
The concept of the project, as expressed by Firestone Walker, is for 'each participating brewery to produce their own distinct hybrid, but with three binding stipulations: we all had to use the same grain bill, the same maturation period in barrels and the same co-fermented percentage of wort and wine grapes'. The kicker - all grapes had to be grown within 100 miles of each brewery. The result is an unprecedented exploration into how “terroir” - or sense of place - drives what we taste.' In 2019, we (Wildflower) were one of 11 participating breweries to make a beer for this event alongside Firestone Walker Barrelworks, Jester King, Side Project, Garage Project, Trillum, Arizona Wilderness, Beavertown, Birraficio del Ducato, The Bruery, Sierra Nevada and the Wild Beer Co.
It was this beer and the invitation to participate in this festival which forced me to summon my courage and ring my friend Chris Tyrrell and ask if we would be able to use some of the most iconic grapes in all of Australia to make a beer that would be presented on a world stage. Chris, much to my delight (and somewhat surprise) was happy to help and mentioned that we would be able to pick and purchase grapes off of their famed Johnno's plot. As the crow flies, from Wildflower to this exact plot is 125.71km (78.11mi), so we just made the guidelines. The name for this beer is largely driven by this reality that a very young family owned brewery was allowed to work with the produce of some of the most important plantings of grapes in the country on a 162 year old family farm. In making this beer we are playing with fire, playing around with lit fruit, iconic vines. In doing a little reading for the release of this beer, I came across a quote from Bruce Tyrrell (Chris' father) on their website saying, "family businesses always have a longer term view of the world, its operation and its people." While our businesses are of quite differing ages, I would like to think we take a similar approach and they are provide an excellent example for my brother-in-law Chris and me on family business.
In another reading, this beer is named for my apprehension with applying wine nomenclature to beer. Terroir is never a word I have used to express the beer that we make and while I have my reservations about using it myself, we are humbled to be invited to take part in Firestone Walker's Terroir Project festival. Thus, I am playing with fire in my own right, stretching some set of arbitrary rules I make for myself in order to participate, collaborate and at the end of the day contribute to the category of mixed culture beers made with wine grapes.
Hand harvested Johnno's Semillon in January 2021, fermentation and maceration on whole fruit for 9 months before extended 5 month elevage in 500 litre puncheon barrels before bottling in March 2022.
Serious nose, big depth and fruit expression. Skinsy grape, pear and apple skin. Toasted biscuity oak, vanillin and candied fruits. The palate is savoury... marmalade, pineapple and baked peaches. Citrus shines on the back palate in tandem with oak and phenolic grape derived grip. Despite the weight of flavour it finishes clean and compactly.
Playing with🔥2021 is packaged in 750ml bottles - please see the product page for allocations and limits.
Like all our beers, Playing with🔥2021 is best enjoyed when decanted off a settled natural yeast sediment at cellar temperatures (10-12°C).