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Printhie – Wattleview, Orange Charles Simons

Top Vineyards
  • Printhie – Wattleview, Orange

    Charles Simons manages the viticulture across the four Printhie vineyard sites in the Orange region of New South Wales. All are at high altitude, but the Wattleview Vineyard tops out as their highest, and is one of the country’s few viable plantings over 1,000 metres. Chardonnay, pinot noir and sauvignon blanc excel there, with the site responsible for Printhie’s flagship chardonnay – aptly named ‘Super Duper’ – as well as adding to wines in their Mountain and Topography ranges. Simons utilises technology to help guide his approach, which helps in the targeted direction of irrigation and disease management strategies, significantly reducing chemical, water and diesel use.

  • Somerset, Pokolbin

    The Hunter Valley’s Somerset Vineyard has been responsible for some landmark wines, from back in the days of Maurice O’Shea in the first half of the 20th century, then later for Lindeman’s at its peak in the 60s, 70s and 80s, as well as supplying fruit to Len Evans as he reshaped the Australian wine landscape. Today, Angus Vinden tends nearly 20 hectares of vines dedicated to his family’s eponymous label, with the Hunter stalwarts of shiraz and semillon leading the way, though he also makes some more left-field offerings under the Headcase imprint from varieties like tempranillo and gewürztraminer. Vinden has recently begun the conversion to organic practices.

  • Ravensworth, Canberra District

    For over 15 years, Bryan Martin was Tim Kirk’s right-hand 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 hectares, with the regional leaders – shiraz and riesling – sharing the spotlight with sangiovese, along with Rhône whites, as well as newer plantings of gamay and nebbiolo. Martin hasn’t used synthetic chemicals for nearly a decade, and his focus is built around unwinding the damage done by conventional agriculture to let the signature of site speak.

  • Lake George, Canberra District

    Anthony and Sarah McDougall are the current stewards of Lake George Winery, one of the Canberra Districts first vineyards. Founded by the legendary Dr Edgar Riek, the site was planted with chardonnay, semillon, riesling, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and merlot, though that composition has been tweaked over the years, with varieties such as tempranillo, viognier and pinot gris joining the roster. Today, the McDougalls have moved away from synthetic herbicides and are busy employing innovative options to reduce their imprint on the environment, as well as ensure long-term economic viability.