Australasian Wine Exporters Pty Ltd
Home Page
Company Profile
Wines
Enquiries

Wineries
and Wines

Diggers Bluff



I'm fourth generation of my family to be involved in the wine business. I cut my teeth with some of the wine making greats both here and in the Hunter Valley, including a number of years working alongside my father at Rockford Wines. All of this experience and knowledge convinced me that I wanted to make quality wine that represented the Barossa, its soils and its seasonal variations.

So I’ve spent the last 6 years rebuilding old vineyards, planting new ones and making my wine. I pruned, picked, fermented, pressed and labelled this wine with my own hands. Because I have aged the wine in my cellar for 6 years it’s showing real bottle age and is drinking beautifully at the moment. My goal is to continue to make high quality aged Barossa wine and sell it to a small group of loyal customers.

The name "Diggers Bluff" came about because I happen to own the world’s greatest dog, he was born on Anzac day, so I named him Digger, together we live on a windy bluff over-looking Seppeltsfield vineyards. There is only small quantities of this wine, with the next 5 vintages safely in the cellar. Although I will be adding to this label, "Watchdog" will always be a rare and special wine.

It has been a long and rewarding journey making this wine; I hope you get as much pleasure from drinking it.





Tim O'Callaghan
Radford Rd, Seppeltsfield.

2007 “Top Dog” Barossa Valley Shiraz
The Top Dog is a traditional Barossa wine, and very popular. It is a quintessential big Aussie Shiraz with good prominent oak. The oak itself is seasoned, for three years, given a medium toast and is a combination of American and French wood. This creates a slower release of flavour, which marries with the wine rather than overpowering this fruit driven style. This wine came from one of many vineyards that Dan Rowe and I lovingly rebuilt in an effort to save them from bull dozers. Unfortunately, this 100 year old vineyard finally succumbed to “ progress” and is now a suburb. It still hurts me, whenever I consider the awesome standard of this wine, knowing the vineyard is now lost forever. On a brighter note, Dan and I had the foresight to take cuttings from this old clone and planted up similar areas with these sticks. I am happy to report, seven years later, that these vineyards are starting to show the same flavoursome characteristics as their ancestors, so we can continue with this style in the future. This is a cracker red! Plummy, rich, big and beautiful. Hints of pepper and spice from Hungarian oak, with a finishing palate that reminds me of Nana’s Christmas puddings.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Name of Wine Top Dog
Wine Shiraz
Vintage 2006
Region(s) of fruit Source Greenock
Sub-region Barossa Valley
Specific Vineyard by Name Greenock Old Vineg
Soil River flat loam
Trellis System Single Wire
Varietal Blend Shiraz
Winemaker(s) Timothy O’Callaghan
Alc/vol 15.0%
Age of Vines 81 year old
Yield per acre 2 tonne
Total Production 337 Dozen
Wood Treatment American & French - New AP John. Very fine grain – Medium Toast.



Tasting Notes

The Top Dog is a traditional Barossa wine, and very popular. It is a quintessential big Aussie Shiraz with good prominent oak. The oak itself is seasoned, for three years, given a medium toast and is a combination of American and French wood. This creates a slower release of flavor, which marries with the wine rather than overpowering this fruit driven style. This wine came from one of many vineyards that Dan Rowe and I lovingly rebuilt in an effort to save them from bull dozers. Unfortunately, this 100 year old vineyard finally succumbed to “progress” and is now a suburb. It still hurts me, whenever I consider the awesome standard of this wine, knowing the vineyard is now lost forever. On a brighter note, Dan and I had the foresight to take cuttings from this old clone and planted up similar areas with these sticks. I am happy to report, seven years later, that these vineyards are starting to show the same flavoursome characteristics as their ancestors, so we can continue with this style in the future. This is a cracker red! Plummy, rich, big and beautiful. Hints of pepper and spice from Hungarian oak, with a finishing palate that reminds me of Nana’s Christmas puddings.
2010 “Watchdog” Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz

I think this is the best wine I make. The beauty of wine, in general, is in its diversity and the fact that we all have different tastes. The Watch Dog suits mine, but it may have something to do with sneaking into our parent’s cellar, with the Lehmann boys, and sitting around drinking 10 year old Barossa Cabernet / Shiraz. It’s a style that suits the Barossa well. Of course, the one third Shiraz component is a factor, but Barossa Cabernet is outstanding, when handled correctly.

This wine will always be sold with bottle age and has the complexity of different regions of oak, old and new. This has created a wonderful long palate and the integrity of the vineyards has created fantastic acid balance, which not only feels good in the mouth but ensures the wine will age well. Immediately, this wine smells rich, sweet and complex with a hint of vanilla (from the French Oak). It follows with a palate that does not disappoint the early promise. Smooth, soft tannins, that seem to go forever.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Name of Wine Watch Dog
Wine Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz
Vintage 2003
Region(s) of fruit Source Greenock
Sub-region Barossa Valley
Specific Vineyard by Name Barky Street Block
Soil Red Clay / Black Loam
Trellis System Single Wire
Varietal Blend Cabernet Sauvignon 66% Shiraz 34%
Winemaker(s) Timothy O’Callaghan
Alc/vol 14.5%
Age of Vines Cabernet - 30 year old. Shiraz - 80 year old. year old
Yield per acre 1 – 1.5 tonne
Total Production 487 Dozen



Tasting Notes

I think this is the best wine I make. The beauty of wine, in general, is in its diversity and the fact that we all have different tastes. The Watch Dog suits mine, but it may have something to do with sneaking into our parent’s cellar, with the Lehmann boys, and sitting around drinking 10 year old Barossa Cabernet / Shiraz. It’s a style that suits the Barossa well. Of course, the one third Shiraz component is a factor, but Barossa Cabernet is outstanding, when handled correctly. This wine will always be sold with bottle age and has the complexity of different regions of oak, old and new. This has created a wonderful long palate and the integrity of the vineyards has created fantastic acid balance, which not only feels good in the mouth but ensures the wine will age well. Immediately, this wine smells rich, sweet and complex with a hint of vanilla. It follows with a palate that does not disappoint the early promise. Smooth, soft tannins, that seem to go forever.
2011 “Stray Dog” Barossa Valley Grenache Shiraz Mataro

"I was dreaming when I wrote this, so forgive me if it goes astray..."

We work hard at Diggers, some say I just make it hard, but we are not lazy so I am going to call this Grenache, Shiraz, Mataro not G.S.M. There are a lot of these about, but the beauty of making wine is everyone does it differently and this is that, different.

The Grenache vines are original Barossa clone. Hand pruned and dry grown. I planted a good portion of these vines myself off a section of vineyard we called the land of the giants. Grenache thrives in Barossa conditions and because this variety bud bursts early and, ripens late in the season, it has a long ripening period and this creates a very floral fruit flavour. We then take Shiraz and Mataro, another hearty variety, blend to taste and voila, the Stray Dog! The nose on this wine, reminds me of what a good, old, underground cellar should smell like. If you can give this wine time to open, the floral Grenache comes through to the nose. The mouth feel of this wine, is strikingly similar to green banana. The Mataro component, provides a good tannic finish.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Name of Wine Stray Dog
Wine Grenache, Shiraz, Mataro
Vintage 2006
Region(s) of fruit Source Grenache – Greenock. Shiraz – Greenock. Mataro – Greenock & Krondorf.
Sub-region Barossa Valley
Specific Vineyard by Name Grenache – Barky Street Block.Shiraz – Scholz. Mataro – Krondorf.
Soil Grenache – Red Clay. Shiraz – Sandy Loam. Mataro – Red Clay.
Trellis System Single Wire
Varietal Blend Grenache 60%, Shiraz 25%, Mataro 15%
Winemaker(s) Timothy O’Callaghan
Alc/vol 13.5%
Age of Vines Grenache, 80 year old. Shiraz - 30 year old. Mataro -30 year old.
Yield per acre 2 tonne
Total Production 1,350 dozen
Wood Treatment None
Vintage Comments A good season, long and slow.



Tasting Notes

"I was dreaming when I wrote this, so forgive me if it goes astray..." We work hard at Diggers, some say I just make it hard, but we are not lazy so I am going to call this Grenache, Shiraz, Mataro not G.S.M. There are a lot of these about, but the beauty of making wine is everyone does it differently and this is that, different. The Grenache vines are original Barossa clone. Hand pruned and dry grown. I planted a good portion of these vines myself off a section of vineyard we called the land of the giants. Grenache thrives in Barossa conditions and because this variety bud bursts early and, ripens late in the season, it has a long ripening period and this creates a very floral fruit flavour. We then take Shiraz and Mataro, another hearty variety, blend to taste and voila, the Stray Dog! The nose on this wine, reminds me of what a good, old, underground cellar should smell like. If you can give this wine time to open, the floral Grenache comes through to the nose. The mouth feel of this wine, is strikingly similar to green banana. The Mataro component, provides a good tannic finish.
2009 "Sly Dog" Cabernet Sauvignon

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Name of Wine Sly Dog
Wine Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage 2006
Region(s) of fruit Source Rifle Range
Sub-region Barossa Valley
Soil Red Clay.
Trellis System Single Wire
Varietal Blend Cabernet Sauvignon
Winemaker(s) Timothy O’Callaghan
Alc/vol 15.5%
Age of Vines Cabernet - 30 year old
Yield per acre 1 - 1.5 tonne
Total Production 92 dozen



Tasting Notes

Just like a Sly Dog this wine will sneak up and nip at your heels. Barossa Cabernet has the ability to become big & boisterous in flavour which is a reflection of our intense region. Whilst I enjoy Cabernet from other regions this dynamic Barossa style wins me over every time. Similar to the Top Dog this is a wine with a long palate due to the delicate pressing process.

Once again, in the true “Diggers” style it is hard to get away from the word “rich”. Mother nature has given this gift of richness so we must allow her to be represented. Like a true team; my home environment and I have struck gold again. It goes well with a Sunday Roast and of course Vegemite Gravy.
Reviews

BAROSSA LIVING - June 2009 - Download Article (PDF)
The 1918 Bistro Top Five - 2003 Diggers Bluff Watch Dog Cabernet Shiraz.

JAMES HALLIDAY AUSTRALIAN WINE COMPANION 2008 - Download Article (PDF)
4 Stars. “Timothy explains that his family crest is an Irish Hound standing under an oak tree; the Diggers Bluff label features his faithful hound Digger, under a Mallee tree. He is a third-generation winemaker...

WBM - September 2007 - Download Article (PDF)
"The story takes less than a minute to tell, is easily remembered, full of character, very Australian and is easily represented visually on a label, a fact not lost on Tim."I just got back from Singapore and everyone loved the story. People get sick of the technical jargon and probably forget it straight away...

QANTAS - November 2006 - Download Article (PDF)
"The O'Callaghan brothers of Diggers Bluff also aim for elegance. Their name has a resonance in the Barossa Valley - Tim and Travis are fourth-generation winemakers. "All those days of being naughty when we were younger, sneaking in and nicking Dad's wines, are paying off in what we're now making," Travis says...

IN THE VINEYARD - 2006 - Download Article (PDF)
"Each and every vine is examined and treated individually and the whole process results in exceptional quality fruit. "We look at each vine rather than applying the same treatment to the whole block to ensure we are getting quality across the entire vineyard," says Tim...

CLOUDWINE - June 2006
"This is it! The new O'Callaghan generation has arrived! One of the most sought after wines in Australia is Rockford's basket press and the winemaker is Robert O'Callaghan and now his son, Tim O'Callaghan has arrived and making supreme wines. Now, Tim is only a youngster, but check out his experience....he has done time at Tyrrells, Yulumba, 3 vintages at Peter Lehmann, another 3 at Krondorf then, under the father & son rule, helped out at Rockford for 2 years.

SURF4WINE - 2006 - Link to article
"A small partnership between Robert O'Callaghans two sons - Travis & Tim - who have been given access to a small vineyard of old vine Shiraz. The vines are attended to by Tim, and the wines then made by him at their Marananga winery. The wine is aged until the two brothers feel that it is ready to drink. Only 50 cases are allocated to the UK."


Back to the Index

Copyright 2003 Australasian Wine Exporters Pty Ltd
Phone Us (+ 61 3) 8415 1375 | Fax Us (+ 61 3) 8415 0591
Email Us Email Us