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Tellurian, Heathcote Tobias Ansted

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  • Tellurian, Heathcote

    Ian Hopkins was drawn to Heathcote by a love for the style of shiraz that was being wrought there from the ancient Cambrian soils. A piece of red dirt on the Mount Camel Range was acquired, and the first vines – shiraz, of course – for his own venture were planted in 2002. That vineyard has now expanded to around 30 hectares, with drought-tolerant varieties like nero d’avola, fiano and carignan, and Rhône stars like grenache and mourvèdre, joining the roster, with some planted at high density and others as bush vines. Tobias Ansted holds both the winemaking and viticulture reins, with the farming certified organic but forever being pushed to exceed those standards.

  • Sorrenberg, Beechworth

    Barry and Jan Morey’s Sorrenberg, in an elevated cool site in Beechworth, is somewhat of a Victorian legend, a family enterprise with a low-key attitude that has steadily seen their wines attain cult-like status, rubbing shoulders with some of their more ostensibly glamorous neighbours. It may be the quality of the wines that has built their reputation – one of the region’s finest chardonnays, arguably Australia’s best gamay, an equally esteemed sauvignon blanc and semillon blend, and an exemplary cabernet blend – but behind the label, the impeccable biodynamic farming and focus on addressing local and global environmental issues deserves just as much attention.

  • Quealy, Mornington Peninsula

    Before selling to a major player, Kathleen Quealy and Kevin McCarthy made their mark at T’Gallant in the 1990s, and in the process generated 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. Today, the vineyard is managed by Lucas Blanck under organic certification to produce fruit for the overwhelmingly lo-fi Quealy wines.

  • Place of Changing Winds, Macedon Ranges

    Robert Walters is no stranger to great wine, being an importer and distributor of some of the most revered wines of the world. Walters’ passion for Burgundy runs particularly deep, with an exhaustive search for an ideal home site for pinot noir and chardonnay leading him to the Macedon ranges in 2012. There he planted a genuinely unique vineyard for this country, with some of the highest density plantings anywhere in the world. Organically certified and requiring exhaustive manual work – coordinated by manager Remi Jacquemain – the site is testing the possibilities of perfection while paying respect to the land and its bushland surrounds.

  • Oakridge – Estate, Yarra Valley

    While Oakridge has three Yarra Valley sites under its management, their Estate Vineyard, surrounding their winery and celebrated restaurant, is the centre of the operation. Planted in 1996, the vineyard consists of pinot noir, chardonnay, shiraz, cabernet, merlot and semillon across 9.8 hectares of vines. Viticulturist Steven Faulkner has been managing the Oakridge farming for the last two years, while he also runs a viticulture consultancy business that operates across three states.

  • Malakoff Vineyard, Pyrenees

    In Victoria’s Pyrenees, near Landsborough, the Malakoff Vineyard has become one of the state’s most celebrated grower sites, supplying fruit to a shimmering galaxy of winemaking stars. Owned and managed by father and son viticultural team Robert and Cameron John, the site was first celebrated by Northern Rhône superstar Michel Chapoutier when he saw the potential for greatness in Victorian gold country, but it is now perhaps better known for supplying nebbiolo and shiraz to more recognisably local makers.

  • Hochkirch, Henty

    John and Christian Nagorcka – father and son – farm the family’s property, Hochkirch, in the cool zone of Henty in Victoria’s sparsely populated south-west. The 8-hectare vineyard – along with farmland for the traditional grazing of sheep and cattle and growing mixed crops of vegetables and grains, many for their own use – is certified biodynamic (Demeter). Pinot noir is the leading variety, with shiraz increasingly important as the seasons become warmer, while riesling leads the whites, with semillon, sauvignon blanc and chardonnay made in smaller quantities. Increasingly, the wines are bottled with little and often no sulphur, and skin contact is now common for the whites.

  • Gorton Drive, Swan Hill

    Gorton Drive Estates’ 85-hectare property sits on the banks of Kangaroo Lake in the arid warmth of Victoria’s Swan Hill region. In a zone that is often characterised by yield over character, second-generation owner and viticulturist Chris Dent is changing the script, focusing on soil health and reduced yields to produce high-quality fruit. He employs biological farming methods to build resilience and reduce or eliminate reliance on inputs and chemical control measures for disease and pests, with technology streamlining operations and eliminating an overdependence on irrigation. The grapes are sold to many well-known names, such as Brown Brothers and McPherson Wines, while also filling the bottles of Dent’s new home range, Countertop.