The secret of the exceptional grape growing region of Heathcote has only been revealed in the last 15 years. Our vineyards are on the edge of the Cambrian soil belt running north from the township Colbinabbin and on the deep red Cambrian soils themselves.
The vineyard on the edge of the Cambrian soil delivers powerful fruit characters and colour. Here, soils are shallower than the more productive deeper soils of the north and as a result, less productive. This generally results in vines with reduced vigour and lower yields, giving greater intensity of fruit flavour.
The Cambrian soil has good water holding capacity and this, with the warm climate and cool nights, allows the vines time to ripen a balanced crop load during the growing season and produce excellent varietal definition.
The Alpine Valleys are a relative newcomer to the wine industry and as the name suggests, consists of the valleys of four major rivers in the region - the Buckland, Buffalo, Keiwa and Ovens rivers.
There are a variety of climates in the area which span from quite cold high altitude sites to the relatively warm valley floors. Despite the region being somewhat new viticulturally, the vineyard we source our tempranillo from, which is planted on the warmer valley floor, actually has some of the oldest plantings of Tempranillo in Australia. First planted in 1989, these vines are over 20 years old and although planted in very fertile, rich loam soils, they are low yielding due mainly to their age. These lower yields bring more concentrated fruit flavours to the wine.
The vineyards in the Strathbogie Ranges are ideal for producing aromatic varietals such as Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Pinot Grigio.
At an elevation of around 400 metres, the temperature and high number of sunshine hours is paramount in allowing the vines to ripen slowly, maximizing the colour and flavor compounds of the grapes.
Priorat is like nothing you will see anywhere in Australia. In fact, it's the area around the small village of Porrera where we work that is unique. The ground is made from Licorella (slate) and in the afternoon sun, the vineyards shimmer from the light off the rocks.
100 year old bush vines grow next to newer terraced vineyards and in a town of 500 inhabitants, there are at last count, 13 wineries. The combination of old vine depth of character, plus the soil and tough growing conditions, gives the Carineña and Grenache an intensity we rarely see in Australia.