STONELEIGH'S VINEYARDS ARE LOCATED TOWARDS THE NORTHERN SIDE OF WAIRAU VALLEY IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO THE MIGHTY WAIRAU RIVER. Often referred to as the Rapaura series
of soils, they are relatively young, based on river silts and stones, low in nutrients they offer very little water holding capacity. True to the Stoneleigh style, this soft, supple wine captures the essence of Marlborough. Fragrant and flavoursome, it has been fashioned from small blocks of varying clones and rootstocks, achieving a completely integrated and complex style of Pinot Noir.
INSPIRED BY ELDER BOTTLES OF PEWSEY VALE RIESLING, Yalumba resolved to make an early harvest wine with lower alcohol, a fine balance of natural acids and idyllic levels of residual sugar. Prima is made from grapes picked three to four weeks before the rest of the vineyard. Chosen for their fine citrus flavours, grapes are carefully selected when their natural sugar levels are near 10Â° Baume. The wine is finished to a semi dry style which retains some of the fruit in balance with chalky mineral acidity, exhibiting purity of style, as it evoves layers of toastyness and spice.
M3 CHARDONNAY IS SOURCED EXCLUSIVELY FROM A SINGLE SITE, the Shaw+Smith M3 property at Woodside, named after the three partners in the vineyard, brothers Michael and Matthew Hill Smith, along with cousin Martin Shaw. M3 is a major refinement in styling, a serious attempt to produce an exceptional Chardonnay with the capacity to age gracefully. A sophisticated, barrel fermented wine with pure fruit character and restrained oak, exhibiting great elegance and exquisite length. A must for all enthusiasts of stately white wine.
Xabregas has gained
an enviable reputation for quality, locally produced wines under the leadership of an award winning winemaking team at The Vintage Wineworx
Xabregas has rapidly exceeded expectations of a small producer, collecting a bounty of awards and outstanding wine reviews including Gold at the International Wine and Spirit Competition 2007 and 2008 in London, the Qantas Wine Show of Western Australia and the New Zealand International Wine Show 2007 and 2008. Xabregas received a Five Star rating and the title of Best Mt Barker Winery in James Hallidayâ€™s - Australian Wine Companion 2007. The initial Xabregas wine production was limited to 2,800 cases and each year has increased in quality and quantity, with the 2008 bottling yielding 18,000 cases. The Xabregas brand is now synonymous with quality and value and has become a much sought after label.
Xabregas has three outstanding vineyards totaling 140 hectares on sites 10kms south of Mount Barker - Fig Tree Lane, The Spencer Vineyard and the Narrikup Vineyard. White varieties planted are Riesling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc and reds include the quintessential Cabernet Sauvignon along with Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Shiraz. The vineyards supply fruit on contract to some of Western Australiaâ€™s most acclaimed wineries including, Howard Park, Houghtons, Forest Hill and Harewood.
Western Australia is the island continentâ€™s largest state. It spans over a third of the sprawling Australian land mass, yet its premium vinemaking regions are almost entirely concentrated in the glorious south-western portion, with many of the very finest vineyards and wineries now established in the cooler Great Southern region. Skirting the south-west Australian coast for over 200 kilometres (125 miles) and pushing northwards back into the hinterland almost 100 kilometres (60 miles) it ranges from the coastal, maritime sub-regions of Albany and Denmark to the premium inland and continental vineyards of Mount Barker.
The climate is similar to that of Bordeaux in France, tending to be slightly warmer on the higher sites. Ideal for premium vines from Riesling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc to Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The predominant soils lateritic gravelly sandy loams (marri country) or sandy loams deriving directly from granite and gneissic bedrocks. They are typically a rich brown to earthy grey brown in colour, producing very high quality fruit of moderate to low yields per acre. Harvest time generally ranges from mid March to early May.
Mount Barker became the birthplace of the Great Southern wine industry in the early 1950s when first recommended for grape vines by the revered American viticulturalist Harold Olmo. Most wineries and vineyards in Mount Barker were established on the gently undulating ground to the west of Albany Highway - distinguished by their rich, gravelly loam soil called â€śmarriâ€ť providing the excellent drainage qualities and relatively low fertility required for low-yield premium fruit.
The climate is maritime influenced Mediterranean, with lower levels of humidity and more sunshine than the coast. Elevation, aspect and site vary, but in general terms the climate is similar to that of Bordeaux in France, tending to be slightly warmer on the higher sites. Ideal for premium vines from Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Riesling to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. A passion for quality winemaking from the ground up sees the winemaking team intrinsically entwined with each vineyard throughout the course of fruit management. So much so that the viticulture team make themselves readily available to work with on clients vineyards to the most exacting standards - right through to providing state-of-the-art harvesting technology and supervised fruit transport to the winery.
Yarra Yering is
one of Victoria's and Australia's most treasured little boutique winerys, yielding little berries of enticingly flavoured grapes that are crafted into magical red wines
After a lengthy search for the penultimate terroir and microclimate, Dr. Bailey Carrodus chose a site in the Yarra Valley which seemed to meet all the requirements, grey silty clay loam with bands of gravel for good drainage, on a north-facing slope high enough out of the valley to avoid late spring frosts. The site has fulfilled all expectations producing a wide range of quality fruit, from Pinot Noir to Touriga Nacional for a fortified red wine. Most of the 12-hectare plot was planted in 1969 and the 1973 vintage was the first commercial wine produced in the valley since 1921.
The reputation of the valley in the 19th and early 20th centuries rested on Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, and these were the main varieties planted, but it was essential to give Pinot Noir a go, and so a smallish area of that was in the first planting. These three grapes dominated the first three wines. Classically, Cabernet Sauvignon has always had companions, Cabernet Franc was excluded because the only Australian examples had an earthiness which was not wanted, so Malbec and Merlot were in the early plantings and later some Petit Verdot.
Shiraz on its own will develop the desired complexity with about ten years in bottle, but the Rhone Valley shows what some companions will do for it. The Yarra Yering winemakers tried some other Rhone reds, but had difficulty ripening them. Eventually they got their hands on Viognier, and there has been a small amount added to the No.2 Dry Red since 1984. Small amounts of whites were also planted, mainly for the winemakers own enjoyment, but the vineyard is predominantly red.
In 1988 four hectares of fifteen-year old Shiraz on adjacent land to the East became available and they are now known as Underhill. This quirky name is a rough translation of the name Prigorje which the previous owner had given it, in memory of the Croatian village from which he came.
The idea behind buying the Shiraz had been to increase the amount of No.2 Dry Red, but about the same time the EU recognized Yarra Yering as a viticultural sub-region in its own right, and this accolade meant that material from outside the original site could not blended.
The division of Australian vineyards into separate regions has now been reviewed and these restrictions luckily no longer apply. Later additions of 8 and 12 hectares have been incorporated into Yarra Yering.
Portsea Estate vineyard
is located on the century old Tintagel property overlooking Bass Strait at the very tip of Victoria's Mornington Peninsula
Founder Warwick Ross's family has had strong ties with the Portsea/Sorrento area since the late 1800s, when grandfather Dr. Frederick Kiel travelled regularly by paddle steamer as a young man from Melbourne to spend his summers at Sorrento. The Kiel family acquired Pembroke, an historic limestone cottage on Melbourne Road, as their summer residence, which remained in the family until the 1970s. The Kiels acquired the 40 acre Tintagel farm on Portsea Ocean Beach in 1956, a place of undulating paddocks and sweeping views of tempestuous Bass Strait. The subsequent acquisition of the adjoining 106 acres from the Baillieu family in the 1960s allowed the Ross family to expand their cattle grazing activities with the introduction of Angus and Hereford herds.
Portsea Estate's unique terroir derives from extensive limestone deposits and a top soil of calcareous sand and humus collected over thousands of years. The free draining, limestone rich soils provide ideal conditions for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to thrive and have produced complex, layered wines of distinct character and minerality. Establishment of the Portsea Estate vineyard and label in 2000 was a natural progression, born out of a love for Burgundian wines, a connection with the beautiful Tintagel property and commitment to the Portsea/Sorrento area. The goal was to produce premium wines from grapes grown exclusively on the estate at Portsea.
Historically and geologically, the Portsea and Sorrento area represents one of the most significant and fascinating regions in Victoria. The first Victorian settlement in 1803 was at Sullivan Bay near Sorrento, where Captain David Collins and 300 convicts and settlers came ashore. Limeburners moved into the area to exploit the vast wealth of limestone deposits and limeburning established itself as the main industry from Point Nepean to Sorrento.
The well protected north facing paddocks on Portsea Estate vineyard were planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, on unique free draining limestone and calcareous sands that lay beneath the paddocks, providing the perfect terroir for producing classic Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines.
Pass over the
Buckland Gap, turn left at Tobacco Road, and cross over Snowy Creek to arrive at Gapsted's Victorian Alps Winery
Gapsted Wines is the premium brand from the Victorian Alps Winery. Small parcels of fruit are hand selected and crafted into these meticulous wines of distinction. The range focuses on single varietals and innovative wines, including the Gapsted Ballerina Canopy series, Gapsted Limited Release and Gapsted Valley Selection. The Victorian Alps winery was established in 1997 by six great friends who were also wine professionals. Their extensive experience in the industry and their passion for the region were central to the success of the winery over its relatively short existence. In 1999 the first wines were released under the Gapsted brand and in 2001 the stunning and award winning Cellar Door was opened.
The winery and cellar door are located on the Great Alpine Road, one of Australiaâ€™s premier touring routes. The road meanders its way along the stunningly picturesque Ovens Valley, up through the rugged Victorian mountain ranges to the height of 1700 metres, before winding down the other side and ending at Australiaâ€™s sun drenched southern coastline. The owners of Victorian Alps Winery are all passionate wine people with Shayne Cunningham, John Cavendon and Pat Murtagh providing the inspiration for the state.
John & Pat grew up together on neighbouring farms in the district. After their wild youth days of bush dances and courting girls, they settled down with loved ones, and planted vineyards. Shayne was a winemaker in the northern district of Australia, and would travel regularly to the North East Victorian region to sample grapes. He met John and Pat and they instantly became friends through their common love of the region, good food and fantastic wines. They all had a dream to build their own winery and decided to become business partners. After many long nights of planning and (the occasional tipple), the dream of Victorian Alps Winery became a reality. Today the winery crushes 11,000 tons and has storage capacity of over 9 million litres.
The unique combination of having a winemaker and growers as owners, allows the estate to have total control over the winemaking process from growing the fruit, right through to making the wine and distribution. Unlike larger commercial wineries, the estate avoids massive blending to intentionally create the same generic flavoured wine year in year out. Each wine is individual and carries the winemakers own signature, personality, and distinctiveness. It is a labour of love and passion from three mates that desire to produce special and personally appealing wines.
Careful and meticulous winemaking practices and specialized viticulture are utilized to ensure the highest quality cool climate wines are produced. Central to the process is the ballerina method of canopy vine management that allows the gentle morning sunlight and soft mountain breezes to delicately ripen the fruit, producing vibrant colours and intense fruit flavours. This distinctive canopy is symbolized by the Gapsted Wines ballerina icon.
The estate has a team of three excellent winemakers who are willing to throw their thoughts into the ring. They have virtually unlimited access to ultra premium cool climate fruit, grown by the partners of the estate, and a large modern winery producing a small premium product. All these factors combine to give Gapsted great structure and support, with the nimbleness to act as a boutique producer. The winemaking team places great emphasis on the importance of research and development and a significant part of this is experimenting with new varieties. The varieties also showcase the region; in particular the King Valley which is widely recognised as a pre-eminent area for alternate grape varieties, particularly those from the Mediterranean region. Gapsted now have an extensive range of Limited Release wines and intend to continue to develop the portfolio of unusual varieties.