THERE was a time, thirty-odd years ago, when the folk of Griffith in the NSW Riverina would take themselves to their Hanwood drive-in theatre, and ’tween catching snatches of whatever was on the screen, quaff the wine hits of the day – things like Ben Ean Moselle, Porphry Pearl and Mateus Rose.
Today those classics so many of us cut our wine-drinking teeth on are mainly memories, the drive-in’s long gone, and somewhat fittingly in its place is a winery – a 21st century affair big in size but boutique in winemaking approach.
And to preserve a bit of the site’s history, the one-time drive-in’s ticket booths are the weighbridge station of the winery, called Piromit Wines.
Piromit that was created in 1998 is the runaway success of the efforts of four Griffith entrepreneurs who combined their specialist skills in sales, promotion and marketing, viticulture and farm management, and wine science.
Their state-of-the-art winery handles over a thousand tonnes of grapes annually, producing not just wines for their own label, but under contract for other companies; for Piromit they pick the best premium grapes from select local growers to produce a range that includes a Chardonnay, Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Shiraz, Sangiovese and a Cabernet Merlot.
Their 2005 Piromit Shiraz is typically rich and ripe Riverina, with intense dark fruits and berry flavours and a peppery, fragrantly spicy bouquet; its excellent value at $14.99 with barbecued prime rib, followed with tasty hard cheeses.