|From parcels of Pinot Noir, planted to the foot of tailings, left behind by waves of prospectors who pursued their fortune amongst the open pits and mines on Adelaide Hills during the gold rush of the 1850s. Crushed and destemmed straight into the press with minimal time on skins to extract the perfect pink, its blushing lipstick hues presage a cornucopia of lifted strawberry and cherry blossom characters, ruby grapefruit and luscious jube over a length of tasty, toothsome tannins, the perfect Rosé for lazy afternoons or late night soirées. Bird In Hand»|
|In exceptional years, parcels of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot are separately fermented. The best lots are assembled into a multiple trophy winer named Harry's Monster and treated to an extravagant maturation in the finest oak. Giant Steps»|
|Earnscleugh Valley was the site of a gold rush in the 1860s, the industrious miners dug a watercourse through the valley which today serves to nourish the world's southernmost appellation of Pinot Noir. The Last Chance is a small scenic terrace, planted to a special Burgundy clone of Pinot Noir which yields a magnificently structured, generously proportioned wine. Two Paddocks»|
|From one of the oldest productive blocks of Marsanne in the world, an opulent white wine of remarkable complexity. The pick of fruit from this very special patch of ancient vines is crafted into a wine that's built to age beautifully in bottle, initially brooding and water white, evolving luxurious caramelled characters while unravelling layers of flavour. Tahbilk»|
|Paringa Estate has established an unassailable repute over the last twenty years as one of the leading small winery vineyards in the country, named Australian Winery of the Year by James Halliday. Paringa Shiraz won a total of six trophies including Best of Show at the 2006 Royal Sydney, sweeping the field with five Gold Medals and five Trophies, including the prestigious Best of Show and Best Shiraz at the 2009 Royal Sydney, as well as Best Shiraz Trophy Royal Melbourne. Paringa Estate»|
|The Maxwell family's Meads have been acclaimed by leading wine critics and industry press for many decades. Starting with a base of Spiced Mead, a secret herb and spice infusion is introduced and the ferments are fortified. Maxwell»|
|Capel Vale have played an important role in the establishment of the Western Australian wine industry and the recognition of southwest Australia as a world class winegrowing region. They established their first vines in 1974 after determining that the Capel area, near Geographe Bay, was ideally suited to viticulture. Capel Vale»|
|The Fowles family have been at the centre of Victoria's commerce and development since early settlement. Founders of Bendigo Bank and Fowles Auction Group, they also established the first Victorian winery ever to win Great Australian Shiraz Challenge. Fowles»|
|Three British Army officers, in their capacity as agents of the East India Company, established one of Western Australia's first agricultural enterprises in 1836. Named after Captain Richmond Houghton, it was not until Thomas Yule's stewardship that vines were planted and the first vintage of Houghton wine flowed in 1859. Houghton»|
|James Stanley Malpas, born of Willunga, served with the 27th Infantry Battalion AIF during World War I in Gallipoli and France, decorated with the distinguished Military Cross, he returned to McLaren Vale and cleared the land known as Fox Creek. Three quarters old vine Shiraz, a fifth of Cabernet and soupçon of Franc, JSM makes a wine of complexity, substance and panache, it's all luscious fruit, framed by long textural Cabernet tannins, fully integrated and balanced by the patience of nineteen months in the pick of well seasoned oak. Fox Creek»|
|A consistent wine show performer, previous vintages have claimed conspicuous gold medals at Mundus Vini Germany, Sydney International Wine Competition and Royal Sydney, silver at the prestigious Qantas and Decanter World Wine Awards. Vintage 2009 claimed Blue Gold Medal & Top 1OO Sydney International, Gold Qantas Wine Show WA, Silver Mundus Vini International Wine Show & Sydney Royal. Watershed»|
|The term Terra rossa means red earth, a rich, free draining soil that is considered by many as the viticultural equivalent of discovering gold. Beneath the strata of red earth at Wrattonbully sits a layer of ancient limestone, a winegrower's dream as it allows free drainage of water, yet ensures vine roots stay close to the surface, putting natural stress on the vine and limiting its vigor and yield. Smith Hooper»|
Mount Camel Ridge
Mount Camel Ridge
The key to great wines is great vineyards worked by dedicated growers
Mount Camel Ridge Estate is situated on the eastern face at the cooler, south end of the Mount Camel Range 17km north of Heathcote in Central Victoria. The objective is to produce wine of beauty and finesse that reflects the terroir, the grape variety, the vintage and the site from which they came.
The site is gently sloping and therefore well drained. It faces east to receive the early morning sun, invaluable during years of frost, ensuring the vines are not affected. In summer the vines are sheltered from the hot western sun in the late afternoon by the higher part of the hill. The soil is predominantly Cambrian, with small pockets of red and black clay, hill wash and rock. Thus blocks are planted to different soil types and at varying elevations.
The vines at Mount Camel Ridge yield Shiraz 45%, Cabernet Sauvignon 25%, Merlot 20%; the remainder consists of Viognier, Petit Verdot and Mourvedre. Clones have been selected with the intention to produce a northern Rhone style Shiraz and a Bordeaux style Cabernet Sauvignon within the Australian context. The property is 49 hectares and 18 hectares is under vine, although not all is as yet productive.
The land had always been a sheep property and had never been cropped. After aquiring the site, Gwenda and Ian Langford embarked on a programme of mulching to achieve maximum soil structure, initially by spreading chicken manure. Since then, a seaweed fertiliser has been applied and all prunings are mulched back into the rows annually. The property benefits from the prevailing winds along the ridge, hence copper or lime sulphur fungicide are never utilized. As a result of intensive work worms are reappearing, there is now an extensive frog population, along with ladybirds and other invertebrates, not to mention a range of beautiful spiders.
The grapes ripen evenly and in beautiful condition so there is no adjustment of pH. The vines are cane pruned, the number of buds are kept to what is deemed appropriate for each, with low yields as the aim (approximately one tonne per acre). It is a dryland vineyard and drippers have never been installed. The grapes are hand picked, fermented naturally in 500kg open vats, hand plunged, basket pressed and matured in French oak (new 25%). The wine is racked two to three times during the fifteen to twenty months maturation and is lightly fined but not filtered.
Given the natural balance and flavours these wines are attractive when young. Mount Camel Ridge will benefit from cellaring, but high quality wine should be attractive at any age.