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Top Vineyards

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    • Adelina Vineyard, Clare Valley
    • Colin McBryde & Michael Maloney
    • South Australia, Clare Valley

    • 2020, 2021, 2022

    2022 Vineyard of the Year
    2022 Finalist
    2021 Finalist
    2020 Finalist

    The Adelina vineyard, in the Clare Valley, is an old one. The first shiraz vines were planted in the early 1900s and were supplemented with grenache sometime in the ’40s. When Col McBryde and Jennie Gardner took over the management of the site in 2002, their work was cut out for them. With rampant wild olive trees and weeds aplenty, they set about regenerating the landscape, working with organic methods for many years before finally seeking and achieving certification in 2020. Today, those old vines are in fine health, while further plantings have increased the vineyard size a little to now occupy six hectares.

    • Alkina Vineyard, Barossa Valley
    • Johnny Schuster & Amelia Nolan
    • Barossa Valley

    • 2021, 2022

    2022 Finalist
    2021 Innovative Vineyard of the Year
    2021 Finalist

    Alkina is a relatively new project on an old farm. First planted to vines by Les Kalleske in 1955 in the Barossa subregion of Greenock, the site boasts stone buildings dating back to the 1850s. When Argentinian vigneron Alejandro Bulgheroni bought the property in 2015, he planted new vines and embarked on a process of examining the site’s geology in microscopic detail over a five-year project. With general manager Amelia Nolan and vineyard manager Johnny Schuster both overseeing the certified biodynamic vineyard, the ongoing quest is to grow terroir-reflective fruit from Barossa heritage varieties and elaborate them with simple and transparent winemaking, both as blends of blocks and micro-parcels called ‘Polygons’.

    • Angove – Warboys Vineyard, McLaren Vale
    • Nick Bakkum
    • South Australia, McLaren Vale

    • 2020, 2022

    2022 Finalist
    2020 Finalist

    With a little under 11 hectares of vines, the Warboys Vineyard has become the centrepiece of Angove Family Winemakers. Founded in 1886, the family’s historic vineyards were swallowed up by Adelaide’s urban sprawl in the 1970s, with the rundown Warboys Vineyard (named after a site that Dr Angove started to source from in the 19th century) acquired in 2008. Managed since then with strict organic and biodynamic methods, viticulturist Nick Bakkum has resurrected the old shiraz and grenache vines, as well as extending those plantings along with the inclusion of fiano and carignan to insulate against a warming climate.

    • Artwine – Springfarm Vineyard, Clare Valley
    • Glen Kelly
    • Clare Valley

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    Artwine’s Springfarm Vineyard in the Clare Valley is home to eight different varieties, with a distinct lean to emerging ones that have been chosen for their suitability to the changing climate. Owned for over two decades by Glen and Judy Kelly, the site complements their cooler Adelaide Hills vineyard, where their cellar door is situated. The Clare site contributes traditional varieties like grenache to the range, along with Mediterranean ones, like fiano, tempranillo, graciano and sangiovese, with new plantings yet to come online.

    • Bannockburn – Winery Vineyard
    • Lucas Grigsby
    • Geelong

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    In the Moorabool subregion, Geelong’s Bannockburn is one of the most celebrated names in Australian wine, being an early adopter of a very Burgundian approach to chardonnay and pinot noir in this country, while remaining ever progressive both in the vineyard and winery. Much credit has always gone to the winemaking stewards, but the meticulous site selection and overarching philosophy of founder Stuart Hooper and the near four-decade long stewardship of vineyard manager Lucas Grigsby have been just as influential. Today, premium chardonnay, pinot noir, shiraz, riesling and sauvignon blanc define this estate, with an emphasis on savoury, mineral and complex wines that seek to reflect the volcanic soils and cool, windswept conditions.

    • Bon View Vineyard, Barossa Valley
    • Ralph Schrapel
    • Barossa Valley

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    The Bon View Vineyard has been in family hands since it was first planted in the 19th century. Those original shiraz vines still make wine today, though the bulk of the vineyard was planted in the 1960s by current viticultural custodian Ralph Schrapel’s father and grandfather. With the farming practices evolving over the generations to a less interventionist and more balanced approach that centres on soil health and water management, the fruit is pitched towards the premium and ultra-premium end. A four-decade-long collaboration with Peter Lehmann Wines means good homes for that juice, filling bottles such as the legendary ‘Stonewell’ Shiraz and ‘Mentor’ Cabernet Sauvignon.

    • Cape Mentelle – Estate Vineyard, Margaret River
    • David Moulton
    • Western Australia, Margaret River

    • 2020, 2022

    2022 Finalist
    2020 Finalist

    One of Margaret River’s founding wineries, Cape Mentelle has grown from humble beginnings to be one of the nation’s most iconic producers. With the over 40-hectare Estate Vineyard at the heart of operations, viticulturist David Moulton has ceased the use of any synthetic products as of 2020, with a proud history of sustainable management evolving to organic practices (not certified). The Estate Vineyard is the centre of red wine production, and is responsible for Cape Mentelle’s most iconic bottlings, with their flagship cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and zinfandel all largely coming from the property’s old vines.

    • Cassini Vineyard, Kangaroo Island
    • Nick Dugmore & Max Dugmore
    • Kangaroo Island

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    Nick and Bec Dugmore’s The Stoke label is their love letter to Kangaroo Island. It’s naturally a canvas for their considerable winemaking talents, but it also embodies a very serious quest to show just what exciting vinous territory KI is. With the steep decline in grape-growing on the island, taking on their own site was a natural progression, enabling them to make wine from the ground up with a regenerative approach amongst the vines. Now responsible for most of the fruit going to The Stoke and Guroo labels, as well as for some up-and-coming makers, the isolated 4.2-hectare Cassini Vineyard is being nurtured into the health of its life through the hard work of Nick and his father, Max.

    • Corymbia – Rocket’s Vineyard
    • Genevieve & Rob Mann
    • Swan Valley

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    While distinctly compact, Rocket’s Vineyard is making a bold statement in the renaissance of the Swan Valley. Rob and Genevieve Mann are carrying the family name – arguably the most historically important one in the West’s wine world – to new heights, championing the regional white hero, chenin blanc, and making a midweight Swan red from cabernet sauvignon, tempranillo and malbec. Certified organic, the site has a compact 3 hectares of vines, with the emphasis placed on doing most of the work themselves and making wine from the ground up to reflect, site, varieties, region and vintage.

    • Crittenden Estate, Mornington Peninsula
    • Rollo Crittenden & Garry Crittenden
    • Mornington Peninsula

    • 2020, 2022

    2022 Finalist
    2020 Finalist

    Crittenden Estate is one of Mornington Peninsula’s oldest vineyards, with Garry Crittenden planting his first couple of hectares in the 80s, which doubled the region’s land under vine at the time. Today, while the regional strengths of chardonnay and pinot noir remain the same, much on the Peninsula has changed. And the Crittendens have changed too, with Garry and his son Rollo steering the viticulture down a sustainable route that has seen vast benefits for biodiversity and soil health, as well as wine quality. The estate vineyard produces a suite of wines – including two savagnin-based bottlings that pay homage to the wines of the Jura – which form the premium end of the Crittenden range. Top of that tree are the Cri de Coeur wines, and they’re wines that Rollo says would not have been possible without their farming revolution.

    • Cullen
    • Vanya Cullen, Brian Martin, Tim Ansell, Jake Ansell & Nick Firth
    • Margaret River

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    Cullen wines, led by Vanya Cullen is one of the blue chip names in Margaret River, and more specifically the subregion of Wilyabrup where her parents planted the first estate vines in 1971. Her stewardship has taken the farming from one that was always environmentally sympathetic to having now held biodynamic certification for just shy of two decades – as well as being recently assessed as carbon negative. The original vineyard is responsible for the iconic cabernets, ‘Diana Madeline’, and chardonnay, ‘Kevin John’, as well a raft of bottlings ranging from the classically styled to those that walk a more experimental path.

    • Dark Horse Vineyard
    • Dr David Carpenter
    • Canberra District

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    The Dark Horse Vineyard is in arguably the Canberra District’s most famous viticultural area, Murrumbateman. Purchased by Lark Hill’s Carpenter family in 2011 largely for its shiraz plantings, sangiovese has emerged as a perhaps surprising hero, resulting in the subsequent inclusions of other Italian grapes, both of northern and southern origin. The site has been certified biodynamic for just on a decade, with an ever-increasing focus on sustainability both for the vineyard and business operations. The wines – currently made from shiraz, sangiovese, marsanne and viognier – appear under the Lark Hill banner with the ‘Dark Horse Vineyard’ designate declared.

    • Devil’s Lair Vineyard, Margaret River
    • Simon Robertson
    • Margaret River

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    Established in the 1980s, Devil’s Lair have been making wine from the classic hero varieties of Margaret River since the first release in 1990. The vineyard is situated in the south of the region, surrounded by karri and jarrah forest and fanned by ocean breezes. It’s a cool site marked by variations of aspect in the blocks that lend the wines complexity and a certain elegance, which is further enhanced by clonal diversity. Viticulturist Simon Robertson has cared for the site for 30 years, which has been registered with Sustainable Winegrowing Australia since 2010 and certified since 2013.

    • Gembrook Hill
    • Andrew Marks
    • Yarra Valley

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    Sitting in a natural amphitheatre, the Gembrook Hill vineyard on the fringe of the Upper Yarra was first planted in 1983 by Ian and June Marks. It’s a cool site, and one that is responsible for arguably the Yarra’s most distinctive pinot noir, along with what many regard as the country’s best sauvignon blanc; the chardonnay and sparkling wine are equally acclaimed. While he has worked around the world and steers his own The Wanderer label, Andrew Marks – Ian and June’s son – has always also worked on home soil, with him now managing everything from soil to bottle.

    • Granjoux Vineyard, Beechworth
    • Peter Bartholomew & Mark Walpole
    • Beechworth

    • 2022

    2022 New Vineyard of the Year
    2022 Finalist

    The Granjoux vineyard is the passion project of Peter Bartholomew and Donna Pelka, inspired by the research and ongoing input of legendary viticulturist Mark Walpole. Just outside of Beechworth, the relatively steep site had been planted in the 1860s, with the only remnants of that occupation the durable dry-stone walls and ruin of a winery. Armed with historical records, the trio embarked on both honouring the history and fine-tuning the methods to densely plant an individually staked vineyard that is in part inspired by the vineyards of the Northern Rhône, for both viticulture and varieties, but also committed to the regional star, chardonnay.

    • Hayes Family – Stone Well Estate, Barossa Valley
    • Amanda Mader
    • Barossa Valley

    • 2020, 2021, 2022

    2022 Finalist
    2021 Finalist
    2020 Finalist

    Brett Hayes bought his Stone Well Vineyard to form the basis of Hayes Family Wines, launching the label in 2014. The Stone Well Vineyard is a modest site of 4.5 hectares populated mostly by vines planted over 70 years ago, with the farming now certified organic, along with the onsite winery. The Stone Well Vineyard is the lone source of the organic Hayes Family Wines Estate Range, with varietal shiraz, grenache and mataro bottlings, as well as a blend of the three and varietal single-block wines. Hayes and vineyard manager Amanda Mader oversees the management of the site, with the grapes now all going to Hayes Family wines, though the shiraz was previously sold to Grant Burge to make ‘Meshach’, their flagship wine.

    • Heathcote Estate
    • Tom Carson & Paul Viggers
    • Heathcote

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    Although nebbiolo is gaining a meaningful if modest foothold there, Heathcote Estate is a bastion of the region’s key grape variety, shiraz. That doesn’t mean that the vineyard, run by Tom Carson and Paul Viggers, is set in its ways, though. Far from it, with a program that seeks to express all the nuances of specific blocks, clones and the vagaries of vintage in as transparent a way as possible, with winemaking artefact taking a backseat and primacy placed on the health of the land and the fruit. Certified organic viticulture and an emphasis placed on biodiversity make for a property thriving with life and wines that are increasingly more elegant and naturally balanced.

    • Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard
    • Michael Lane
    • McLaren Vale

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    Viticulturist Michael Lane is perhaps best known for his work at McLaren Vale’s Yangarra Vineyard, but he is having an equally important impact on the 67 hectares of vines on the Hickinbotham site, which sits in the Vale’s Clarendon subzone. That vineyard was first planted by Alan David Hickinbotham over 50 years ago and has been a significant source of high-quality fruit to iconic wineries, though it was not until California’s Jackson Family bought the site that estate wines were released less than a decade ago. Those wines all sit in the premium category, from a shiraz though three Bordelaise varietal wines and the flagship, ‘The Peake’, a homage to the Australian blend of cabernet and shiraz. The vineyard is due for biodynamic certification in 2023.

    • Hither & Yon – Sand Road, McLaren Vale
    • Richard Leask
    • South Australia, McLaren Vale

    • 2020, 2022

    2022 Innovative Vineyard of the Year
    2022 Finalist
    2020 Finalist

    The Leask brothers were born in the Hunter Valley but grew up in McLaren Vale, with their parents buying a vineyard there in 1980. Those holdings expanded across many sites over the years, with the brothers taking the step from growers to vignerons with their Hither & Yon label in 2012. Their project works out of their Sand Road Vineyard – supplying 80 per cent of their needs – with 23 hectares of vines that have been tweaked over the years to favour Mediterranean varieties that perform well in warm conditions, producing midweight wines with food in mind. The site is managed with a focus on regenerative agriculture by Richard Leask, who manages the viticulture and winemaking, while his brother, Malcolm, attends to the business and marketing side of things.

    • Jasper Hill – Georgia’s Paddock
    • Nick McNally
    • Heathcote

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    Jasper Hill is one of the great foundation stones of Victoria’s Heathcote wine region, with Ron and Elva Laughton not just making iconic wines from the russet Cambrian soils but also being somewhat of a leader in low-impact viticulture. Today, Nick McNally tends to the land and vines along with his wife Emily – Ron and Elva’s daughter – who makes the wines. The vineyards are named after the Laughton daughters, with Emily’s Paddock twinned with Georgia’s Paddock, which is home to almost 13 hectares devoted to riesling, nebbiolo, fiano and, of course, shiraz.

    • Kaesler Vineyard, Barossa Valley
    • Nigel van der Zande
    • Barossa Valley

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    The Kaesler Vineyard is in the heart of the Barossa, just outside the town of Nuriootpa. Originally planted in the late 19th century, since 1999 the old and ancient vines have been turning out premium and ultra-premium wines under the Kaesler label. The vineyard has been managed by Nigel van der Zande for over two decades, with his methods evolving down an increasingly sustainable and regenerative line, with a key focus on increasing carbon sequestration. Those processes have resulted in the fruit coming off the vineyard achieving desirable flavour and tannin ripeness at lower sugar levels, and the vines have demonstrated increased resilience in combatting extreme climatic conditions.

    • Kalleske – Johann Georg Vineyard, Barossa Valley
    • Kym Kalleske
    • Barossa Valley

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    The Kalleske family property, in the Barossa Valley subdistrict of Moppa, is one of great historical significance. Settled in 1853, the legacy is one of grazing, broadacre farming and grape-growing, with the oldest shiraz vines on the property some 148 years old – some of the country’s oldest. That 1.2-hectare vineyard of Ancestor vines carries the name of one of the property’s founders, Johann Georg, and it fittingly makes the Kalleske flagship wine of the same name. All the Kaelleske vineyards have been biodynamically certified for 25 years, with the celebrated eponymous wine label, made by Troy Kalleske, just on 21 years old this year. Kym Kalleske farms the vines, working with his parents and two brothers to ensure a rich family legacy will stretch long into the future through a focus on sustainability and regenerative agriculture.

    • Keith Tulloch Wine – Field of Mars Vineyard, Hunter Valley
    • Brent Hutton
    • Hunter Valley

    • 2021, 2022

    2022 Finalist
    2021 Finalist

    Field of Mars is the Keith Tulloch Wine home vineyard. Planted mostly to over 50-year-old vines on alluvial soils in Pokolbin, it rubs shoulders with some of the Hunter’s most revered semillon sites. Sustainability is a key driver of the estate, from the farming to re-establishing native scrub to using only recycled packaging for their wine. The site is run by vineyard manager Brent Hutton, with it producing premium single block varietal wines from chardonnay, shiraz, viognier and semillon in the Field of Mars range.

    • Koonara – Head Honcho Vineyard, Coonawarra
    • Dru Reschke
    • Coonawarra

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    Dru Reschke’s Koonara property includes a block of 30-year-old cabernet vines that go to making his flagship wine, with the site, and wine, aptly dubbed Head Honcho. Those vines turn out modest yields of tiny super-concentrated and pristinely healthy grapes. Reschke describes the site as having “zero pest and disease pressure” due to his nuanced regenerative agriculture that sees the vineyard filled with native flowers, beneficial wasps and kaleidoscopes of butterflies. His approach is focused on building organic matter, increasing water-holding capacity and sequestering carbon through an innovative approach that employs cutting-edge technology to assess nutrient and mineral density and vine health.

    • Lake Moodemere Vineyard, Rutherglen
    • Joel Chambers
    • Rutherglen

    • 2021, 2022

    2022 Finalist
    2021 Finalist

    Lake Moodemere Estate is planted to red soils on an ancient riverbed of the Murray in Victoria’s historic Rutherglen region. The site has been in the Chambers family for five generations, with the first vines planted in the 1800s – though they did not see the next century due to phylloxera. A long history of focusing on sustainability has been enhanced as the years go by, with a symbiotic relationship with their mixed farming and vineyard operations of mutual benefit. The property abuts the Moodemere Reserve, with dense bushland providing a rich habitat for beneficial insects and native wildlife, which in league with their sustainable practices (including cover crops that were first implemented in the 1970s) eliminated insecticide use 40 years ago. The fruit goes to making estate wines – sparkling, table and fortified – which are made onsite and served in their lakeside restaurant, which is supplied by their farm, using everything from wheat to lamb, vegetables, fruit and honey. Joel Chambers is the vineyard manager.

    • Land of Tomorrow – Grindstone Vineyard, Wrattonbully
    • Susie Harris
    • Wrattonbully

    • 2021, 2022

    2022 Finalist
    2021 Finalist

    Susie Harris makes her Land of Tomorrow wines from her family’s Wrattonbully property, which they have farmed for four generations. Beginning in the 1970s, the property has been steadily revegetated from bare grazing land to re-establish woodland and wetlands, with vines first planted for the Grindstone Vineyard in 1995. Harris has sped up the process of restoring the land, with as much attention to the vineyard as the surrounding land, building biodiversity from microbes in the soil to native grasses between the rows and fauna in the re-established scrub.

    • Lark Hill Vineyard, Canberra District
    • Dr David Carpenter
    • Canberra District

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    David and Sue Carpenter’s Lark Hill Vineyard is one of Canberra’s pioneering sites, planted at significant elevation in Bungendore, 30 km north-east of Canberra. The coolness of the site precludes the region’s most planted red variety, shiraz, but it is ideally suited for riesling and other cold adapted varieties, including grüner veltliner. The viticulture has been certified biodynamic for a decade and a half, with Dr David Carpenter leading the team amongst the vines. In 2002, David and Sue’s son, Chris, joined the team, working both in the vineyard and taking the reins with the wines. The vineyard is responsible for wines under the Lark Hill Vineyard designate (they also work from their Murrumbateman vineyard, called Dark Horse, as well as sourcing some fruit for regional expressions), from sparkling wine through textural and aromatic whites to pinot noir.

    • Longview Vineyard, Adelaide Hills
    • Christopher Mein
    • Adelaide Hills

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    The Longview Vineyard in Macclesfield is somewhat of an Adelaide Hills pioneer. Although it was planted in the late ’90s, a little later than the region’s early adopters, nebbiolo was notably planted alongside a brace of more traditional varieties. That was followed with barbera and Austria’s most important grape, grüner veltliner. Those varieties have proven to be well suited to the region, with Longview making leading examples under their own label, while they have also been a source of contract fruit for many other makers. That has proven to be a significant resource for those not blessed with their own vineyards, while it has also advanced the case for those varieties amongst vignerons and drinkers alike. Longview is also somewhat of a Hills tourist destination, with a day spa and accommodation joining the cellar door. Christopher Mein is the vineyard manager, who is constantly evolving his methods to improve vine and soil health with a focus on biodiversity and sustainability.

    • MMAD Vineyard
    • Ben Jonas
    • McLaren Vale

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    The MMAD vineyard is a side project for the team behind Shaw + Smith and Tolpuddle, though it’s a significant side project at that, with nearly 20 hectares of vines in the Maslin sands of McLaren Vale’s Blewitt Springs and vines dating back to the 1930s. It’s a site that’s already seen a trio of celebrated premium releases – chenin blanc, grenache and shiraz – from the 2021 vintage, the same year the vineyard was acquired. And while the MMAD label has been swiftly accepted as though it has been around for a decade, vineyard manager Ben Jonas is taking a long-term view on continually enhancing the health of those heritage vines and planning for an even brighter future through a sustainable approach with organic certification on the horizon.

    • Orbis, McLaren Vale
    • Richard Leask & Lauren Langfield
    • McLaren Vale

    • 2021, 2022

    2022 Finalist
    2021 Finalist

    The Orbis wine label was founded by Brad Moyes and Kendall Grey in 2018 when they purchased an established vineyard in McLaren Vale. The Orbis name references the idea of a self-sufficient system, and the pair anchor everything they do in sustainability, from farming to bottling. Mowing between the rows is largely performed by a flock of babydoll sheep that have been given permanent residence between the vines, with chickens and ducks to join them once a fox-proof fence trial is completed. The fruit goes to the Orbis wines made by Lauren Langfield at the onsite winery, from a pét-nat and a piquette to trousseau and an old vine shiraz, with a pair of rosés and a few non-traditional blends filling out the roster. Contract grapes are also sold to make premium products for Ministry of Clouds, Hither & Yon and Samson Tall, amongst others. The vineyard is managed by renowned viticulturist Richard Leask and Langfield.

    • Paeroa Vineyard, McLaren Vale
    • Matthew Brown
    • McLaren Vale

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    Matthew Brown’s Paeroa Vineyard supplies fruit for his range of Dr Plonk and Fu Manchu wines as well as other makers with varieties both traditional and emerging. Tannat and montepulciano have joined stalwart red varieties, and have proven to thrive in the Mediterranean climate of McLaren Vale. His approach is built around organic practices and a regenerative mindset, with input from Richard Leask as a consultant viticulturist. The sustainable practices extend from increasing soil health and organic matter to reducing fossil fuel usage through solar power and reduced tractor passes, while weeds are removed and grasses kept down through both sheep grazing and manual slashing and cultivation. Brown has also taken the supply of grapes to small makers a step further by making winery space available to pursue their own interpretation of Paeroa fruit, which he grows to their individual specifications.

    • Penley Estate, Coonawarra
    • Hans Loder
    • South Australia, Coonawarra

    • 2020, 2022

    2022 Finalist
    2020 Finalist

    Founded in 1988, Penley Estate is not Coonawarra’s oldest name, but it is one of its most celebrated. Focusing on the classic offerings of cabernet blends and shiraz, Penley is a traditional icon of the region, but Ang and Bec Tolley were determined to take their estate in a different direction, which has been visibly led in the winery but firmly anchored in the vineyard. Under the viticultural direction of Hans Loder, the estate has embraced technology to target the deployment of resources and better assess fruit ripeness and health, resulting in wines with brighter profiles, while more experimental offerings have also been possible through the enhanced ability to select small parcels from the 80-hectare vineyard.

    • Pewsey Vale Vineyard, Eden Valley
    • Brooke Howell
    • Eden Valley

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    Owned by Yalumba’s Hill-Smith family, the Pewsey Vale Vineyard is arguably Australia’s most famous riesling site. At meaningful elevation in the High Eden, its sweeping contour-planted vines are instantly recognisable from the iconic image that adorns the labels on the suite of wines, from the standard bearer to the aged release of ‘The Contours’ and a naturally fermented wine from the 1961 vines. Brooke Howell has been nurturing the vines at Pewsey Vale since 2010, with the old Contours Bock certified organic and the whole property managed with a sustainable mindset.

    • Quealy, Mornington Peninsula
    • Lucas Blanck
    • Victoria, Mornington Peninsula

    • 2020, 2021, 2022

    2022 Finalist
    2021 Finalist
    2020 Finalist

    Before selling to a major player, Kathleen Quealy and Kevin McCarthy made their mark as icons of the Mornington Peninsula in the 1990s, generating a flurry of interest around pinot grigio/gris that has not abated. With a move to one of the Mornington Peninsula’s oldest Vineyards in Balnarring, the pair have continued with their exploration of that grape, along with the Peninsula standards of pinot noir and chardonnay, as well as delving into some key white grapes of north-eastern Italy. The site is responsible for some of the key Quealy bottlings, including their premium ‘Seventeen Rows’ Pinot Noir and skin-contact ‘Turbul’ Friulano. Today, the vineyard is managed by Lucas Blanck under organic certification to produce fruit for their classic and lo-fi expressions.

    • Ravensworth Vineyard, Canberra District
    • Bryan Martin
    • NSW/ACT, Canberra District

    • 2020, 2022

    2022 Finalist
    2020 Finalist

    For over 15 years, Bryan Martin was Tim Kirk’s righthand man at the towering icon of the Canberra District that is Clonakilla. That was while establishing his own Ravensworth label, which now twinkles just as brightly in the region’s firmament of stars. Martin now devotes all his time to tending the vines and making wine from his own site, just down the road from the Kirk’s property, as well as from selected vineyards in the Canberra district. That home site has 13 varieties across 3.3 hectares, with the regional leaders – shiraz and riesling – sharing the spotlight with sangiovese, along with a brace of French and Italian whites and newer plantings of gamay and nebbiolo. Martin hasn’t used synthetic chemicals for a decade, farming with an unwavering focus on soil health and microbial life to better express the signature of site.

    • Ricca Terra – 171 Jury Road Vineyard, Riverland
    • Ashley Ratcliff
    • Riverland

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    The 171 Jury Road Vineyard entered the Ricca Terra stable in late 2020, and interestingly it is not built around the warm-climate Mediterranean varieties that Ashley Ratcliff has become famous for. Rather, it is a celebration of ‘heritage’ varieties that were largely planted by returned servicemen and women who were granted land when they returned from both World Wars. Out of step with the highly mechanised bulk wine production that the region has become synonymous with, the vineyards are seen as liabilities by most, but Ratcliff saw other possibilities and set about resurrecting the old vines with an eye to producing premium wines that honoured the history of their origin.

    • Savina Lane Vineyard, Granite Belt
    • Brad Hutchings
    • Granite Belt

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    The Savina Lane Vineyard is a cool site in the sunny state of Queensland, with its suitability to grape-growing owing to the lofty elevation and the distinctive soils of the Granite Belt. Brad and Cheryl Hutchings work with old-vine shiraz – some of the region’s first vines – and a clutch of less-common varieties, including fiano and graciano. They farm with a carefully tailored organic nutrition program that saw a previously somewhat mismanaged vineyard slip into natural balance three years after they bought the property. That push towards revitalisation also extends beyond the 3.4-hectare vineyards, with a native replanting program aimed at rewilding the remaining 20-odd hectares.

    • Scarborough Wine Co. – Hermitage Road Vineyard, Hunter Valley
    • Jerome Scarborough & Liz Riley
    • Hunter Valley

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    The Scarborough Wine Co. has five vineyard sites in the Hunter Valley, with the Hermitage Road Vineyard acquired in 2007. The vineyard has been lovingly revitalised from the former conventional approach by partners in life and vines Liz Riley and Jerome Scarborough, who is also the winemaker. Sustainability is the central pillar of the operation, with a push to close the loop on waste and increase biodiversity in and around the vineyard blocks. In the 15 years under their stewardship, the improvement in soil health and structure and the increase in fruit quality has been palpable. The vineyard supplies fruit for both the Scarborough and Offshoots range, as well as to some other makers.

    • See Saw Wines – Annangrove Park Vineyard, Orange
    • Brendan Jarrett
    • Orange

    • 2021, 2022

    2022 Finalist
    2021 Finalist

    See Saw Wines, in the New South Wales high-altitude region of Orange, has committed to sustainability across their three vineyard sites, as well right through the production and packaging of their wines. The operation is now all certified organic, with viticulturist Brendan Jarrett focusing on building a balanced system that is built on healthy soil and minimal water use. Their Annangrove Park Vineyard accounts for around 40 per cent of their output, with the vineyard arrayed over a 200-metre range in elevation, topping out at 900 metres, with great variation in aspects and soil types. Chardonnay and pinot noir are natural stars, but the vineyard also has the region’s only prosecco, along with marsanne, sauvignon blanc and syrah, which go to making wines under the See Saw banner, from classic varietal wines to forays into pét-nats and skin contact ‘whites’.

    • Seppelt Great Western Vineyard, Great Western
    • James McKenzie
    • Great Western

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    The Seppelt Great Western is the oldest continuous wine producer in the Grampians region, with the historic winery sitting atop a kilometre and a half of 19th century tunnels used for maturing wine. While Seppelt has other vineyards in the region, along with elsewhere, the 100-odd hectares of mainly shiraz that wrap around the winery is the heart of the Great Western operation, providing fruit for their pinnacle wines, including the benchmark ‘Show Sparkling’ Shiraz’ and flagship ‘St Peters’ Shiraz. Although the vineyard was replanted in the 1960s – meaning there are no ancient vines – it is the heritage clonal material and nuanced management techniques that set the Great Western Vineyard apart. The vineyard has been tended by James McKenzie since 2017

    • Smallfry – Vine Vale Vineyard, Barossa Valley
    • Wayne Ahrens & Suzi Hilder
    • South Australia, Barossa Valley

    • 2020, 2021, 2022

    2022 Finalist
    2021 Finalist
    2020 Finalist

    Suzi Hilder and Wayne Ahrens’ Smallfry Wines is centred around their Barossa vineyard in Vine Vale. With a slew of vines over 100 years old, as well as climate-apt newer plantings, the pair grow grenache, shiraz, semillon, riesling, mataro, tempranillo, trousseau, marsanne, roussanne, cabernet sauvignon, cinsault, pedro ximènez and bonvedro. Their 18 hectares under vine has been certified organic/biodynamic since 2014, and they practice regenerative agricultural practices, encouraging species diversity of plants, animals and microfauna/flora. As well as making their own natural wines, the pair sell grapes to some leading makers, including Ochota Barrels, Shobbrook and Frederick Stevenson.

    • Stefano Lubiana Vineyard, Granton
    • Steve Lubiana
    • Tasmania

    • 2021, 2022

    2022 Finalist
    2021 Finalist

    It is over 30 years since Steve Lubiana set up shop in the Derwent Valley, only a short drive from Hobart, with the Stefano Lubiana Vineyard now occupying just over 28 hectares. Certified biodynamic for nearly a decade, it was Tasmania’s first to achieve accreditation, and was the island state’s only one until very recently. Pinot noir and chardonnay take centre stage, but there are also aromatic whites, syrah and small plots of malvasia and blaufränkisch planted. The wines veer from those classically styled, including several single block bottlings, to ones of a natural bent raised in amphora, while the original motivation for the move south – sparkling wine – sees six individual expressions, including a vintage that slumbers for a decade on lees.

    • Sutton Grange Vineyard, Bendigo
    • Sue Hamilton
    • Bendigo

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    The Sutton Grange Winery vineyard is a few years into its third decade, growing French and Italian varieties in the granitic soils that surround Mount Alexander. Those soils lend the wines a distinct character, which is enhanced by foundational sympathetic farming incorporating organic and biodynamic practices (not certified). The vineyard has the oldest aglianico vines in Australia, while Sutton Grange were also early adopters of fiano and have long flown the flag for elegant, mineral and spicy syrah. Today, the vineyard is managed by Sue Hamilton.

    • Tapanappa – Foggy Hill Vineyard, Southern Fleurieu
    • Brian Croser
    • Southern Fleurieu

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    There are few people who have positively influenced the Australian wine industry as much as Brian Croser has, from instituting winery best practices to pioneering wine styles to education and the exploration of untested vineyard areas. One of those sites is in the elevated cool and wet maritime climate of the Fleurieu Peninsula, buffeted by the Southern Ocean and isolated from a wine-growing community and ready labour. But the Foggy Hill site is one that Croser thought would make exceptional, characterful pinot noir based on climate and soil data, that it would become a truly “distinguished site” to add to the Tapanappa roster.

    • Tscharke – Gnadenfrei North Vineyard, Barossa Valley
    • Damien Tscharke
    • Barossa Valley

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    Damien Tscharke takes sustainability and transparency very seriously, with his vineyards and winery being certified both organic and biodynamic – a rarity in the Barossa. Solar power meets the energy needs, and only rainwater and recycled wastewater is employed in the winery and for irrigation, while all compost and biodynamic preparations are made inhouse as they work towards a closed loop farming operation. The motivation for this approach is centred around larger environmental goals as much as it is around making better and more expressive wine. Tscharke’s Gnadenfrei North Vineyard is a young one, first planted in 2017, and it is dedicated to the classic red varieties of the region and a handful of white Rhône varieties. It’s a suite of grapes that through the genetic adaption of old Barossa vine material and carefully selected climate-apt emerging varieties, Tscharke believes will be making balanced expressive wines for generations to come. The site currently yields an ultra-premium grenache blanc, a single-vineyard shiraz and a grenache rosé.

    • Turkey Flat Vineyard, Barossa Valley
    • Mark Przibilla
    • Barossa Valley

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    The Turkey Flat Vineyard has been farmed by the Schulz family since 1865, though the oldest plantings precede their tenure. First planted in 1847, the site has some of this country’s most ancient vines, but they were almost lost in 1987 under the notorious ‘vine pull scheme’. Thankfully, the decision was made to start producing wine rather than just selling fruit, with the Turkey Flat brand born and the first commercial vintage coming in 1990. That decision revived their fortunes, and it also helped buoy the image of Barossa wines. Today, the Schulz family continue their stewardship with a focus on reinvigorating the old vines and establishing new ones from the ancient material. The site is farmed by Mark Przibilla with a sustainable mindset, building biodiversity and rising to the challenges of climate change.

    • Vinteloper Vineyard, Adelaide Hills
    • David Bowley
    • Adelaide Hills

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    Originally working only with sourced fruit, David Bowley’s Vinteloper found a home vineyard in the Adelaide Hills only for it to be savaged by fire in 2019. Restoring those lost vines is a demanding project, but it goes hand in hand with his process of regenerative agriculture of both vineyard and non-vineyard land. Extensive planting of native flora, a considered water management strategy and solar power for all electricity needs are all part of Bowley’s approach that is tilted to sustainability on both a local and larger scale, while constantly pushing for quality gains. The site is responsible for the ‘Home’ Shiraz and a pinot noir, shiraz and pinot gris in the Vinteloper ‘White Label’ range.

    • Voyager Estate – V9Y Vineyard
    • Glen Ryan
    • Margaret River

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    First planted in the late 1970s, Voyager Estate is one of Margaret River’s oldest vineyards. Located in the Stevens Valley in the subregion of Wallcliffe, the vineyard now occupies over 100 hectares, but it is a recently planted 1.2-hectare block of cabernet sauvignon that is causing considerable excitement amongst the team. That section, called V9Y, was propagated from the original vines and is one day destined for the flagship cabernet, or perhaps a solo bottling. As with the whole estate, the vineyard is certified organic and managed by Glen Ryan, who has worked at Voyager for over two decades.

    • Winmark Wines, Broke Fordwich
    • Liz Riley & Dave Gosser
    • Broke Fordwich

    • 2022

    2022 Finalist

    The Hunter Valley’s Winmark Wines is a chardonnay specialist, with even the Hunter stalwart variety semillon making way to render the site pure in its pursuit of the Burgundian variety across its 11.33 hectares of vines. Once the home of Poole’s Rock and a raft of critically revered chardonnays from the 2000s, the site fell into neglect around 2011 until being rescued in 2016 and resurrected over the following years to now produce a suite of Winmark chardonnays from the relatively accessible to the distinctly premium. The site is managed by Liz Riley and Dave Gosser.

    • Yangarra – High Sands Vineyard, McLaren Vale
    • Michael Lane
    • McLaren Vale

    • 2022

    2022 Old Vineyard of the Year
    2022 Finalist

    The beating heart of the lauded Yangarra Estate Vineyard is the collection of bush vine grenache that was planted a year after the cessation of hostilities in World War II. That vineyard accounts for over a quarter of the old vine grenache in McLaren Vale. It’s not that long ago that this might have been seen as a liability, but with the grape’s star truly on the rise, it represents one of the most precious resources in the Vale. And that growing consumer appreciation for the grape has been heavily influenced by the wines made by Pete Fraser from fruit farmed by Michael Lane, with over a decade and a half of biodynamic management and deep focus on regenerative agriculture and sustainability. The High Sands Vineyard is a 1.7-hectare section on deep sands at the highest elevation, which produces exceptional and distinct fruit that goes to make Yangarra’s flagship ‘High Sands’ bottling.

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