The Morey family has a tradition of winemaking that goes back over 500 years to the Mosel River in Germany. Barry's grandfather, Jacob Barzen, emigrated to Australia to work on a family vineyard and winery at Dookie. This vineyard has since been sold and converted back to grazing land. The name Sorrenberg comes from a small vineyard owned by the Barzen family near a town called Reil on the Mosel.
The Sorrenberg vineyards are surrounded by forest on two sides, while Stony Creek runs across the back boundary. The area was selected for viticulture because of its cool climate and favourable granitic soil. The undulating site provides good drainage and the northern aspect ensures full ripeness is achieved even with the later ripening varieties.
To achieve maximum quality and potential, the vines at Sorrenberg are closely planted on a single fruiting wire. Foliage wires are used to achieve good berry exposure. The vines were planted in 1985 and the first vintage was in 1989. The main varietials at Sorrenberg are Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Gamay with smaller quantities of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Semillon and Pinot Noir for the blends that the winery is well known for.
The grapes are processed at the vineyard and traditional methods are used in the wine making process with fermentation being carried out in French Barriques. The policy at Sorrenberg is to produce hand made wines, the low production allows individual attention to be given to each barrel of wine thereby ensuring maximum quality and flavour
The style of Gamay Sorrenberg produce is a combination of Burgundian and Beaujolais techniques. There is 10% Pinot Noir used in the blend. Half of the Gamay was cold macerated where the fruit is picked cold, crushed and left to soak for 4 days before fermentation starts. Of the rest, 20% of the fruit is left whole in the ferment. Fermentation is for 2 weeks on skins, after which the wine is pressed and matured in oak for eleven months. The sultry Barmutha Cabernet Sauvignon/ Cabernet Franc/ Merlot from Sorrenberg was an inspiration stemming from the hot year of 2003. Whilst this complex blended red was a deviation from the usual Sorrenberg finesse, it stands as an interesting and titillating regional red, and an excellent winter wine.
"Barry and Jan Morey keep a low profile, but the wines from their 2.5-ha vineyard at Beechworth have a cult following not far removed from that of Giaconda; chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon and gamay are the principal varieties planted on the north-facing, granitic slopes. Gamay and Chardonnay are the winery specialties!" -Wine Companion.com.au