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Place of Changing Winds Between Two Mountains Pinot Noir 2016

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Winery Note:

The ‘first level’ Pinot and is expected to often come from several parcels across our small 2 hectare vineyard. The 2016 comes from vines planted in 2013 to densities between 14,000 and 20,000 vines per hectare. It’s a medium bodied, pretty and perfumed wine that I feel is for early drinking.

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Winery Note:

These wines come from a single vineyard in the Macedon Ranges of Victoria that we began planting in 2012. To be precise, the vineyard is in a hamlet called Bullengarook, between Mount Bullengarook & Mount Macedon, in the hills above Gisborne, about 1 hour north west of Melbourne. The site: We searched for almost five years to find the right site until Michael Dhillon of Bindi called me one day to say, “I’ve found your property”. It turned out he was correct. The POCW site is very close to Bindi and lies on the same geological belt. Michael had long identified the Bullengarook area as an ideal one for growing quality Pinot and Chardonnay. This made the choice of varieties pretty simple. The soil is eroded quartz, sandstone and quartzite over clay and is over 400 million years old. It was formed at the bottom of the ocean in the Ordovician period. Of course soil is very complex and we always simplify when we speak of geology. In simple terms it is very rocky soil and historically this soil type was called “Bullengarook gravel”. The elevation is a high 550 metres and the average rainfall is between 700 and 800mm. It’s a genuinely cool site with very cold nights and massive diurnal range (variation between max day and night temperatures) which Pinot loves. In summer the diurnal range will often exceed 20 degrees C (sometimes even 25!) and this leads to heavy morning dews. The practice: The idea of the vineyard, and, more long term, the running of the farm, is to create a self-contained environment, run organically and along permaculture lines - practices that I believe maximize the chance for quality and for maximum expression of place. The land here has not had any chemicals put on it for several decades at least and the vineyard is today certified organic. The vines have been planted to a density of between 12,000 and 33,000 vines per hectare, making it the closest planted vineyard that I know (only Olivier Lamy’s vines run to similar numbers). By way of comparison, densities in Australia are typically between 2,000 and 3,000 vines per hectare. The logic behind these high density planting are various and complex but in basic terms they force the vine roots down, making the vines pump from the sub soil. Such densities also force the vines to work together in complex ways and it creates a vine with a more balanced canopy, fewer, smaller bunches and far less yield per plant. If all goes well we will get 400-500gm of fruit per plant – the norm in quality Australian vineyards is closer to 2-3kg per plant (or higher). To understand how to establish and manage this kind of vineyard took a lot of research. To this end I took viticulturalist Tim Brown to Europe with me five times to meet with many of the most inspirational growers I know. We drew heavily on their experience in planning the vineyard. Today this foundational work is having benefits beyond our own site with two other sites (Bin- di & 10X by Tractor) also having utilised Tim Brown to plant close-planted vineyards of their own while others are exploring the option. Apart from organics, the vineyard is also carefully cultivated and has been established dry grown. Our organics and cultivation are designed to maximize life in the soil, which in turn, ensures a strong connection between the plant and its environment. Cultivation also tears the superficial roots and, again, drives the vine roots down, where the vine can explore the subsoil (for water and nutrients). It also breaks the surface of the soil, allowing water to penetrate rather than running off. It de-compacts and oxygenates amongst a number of other benefits. We use a method of pruning called Poussard which we brought to Australia some four years ago. It’s a type of pruning that respects the natural biology of the plant and creates more robustness and disease resistance. The one ‘best practice’ we have not been able to bring is massale selection (yet!) but in order to have a similar variety of expression, the vineyard is planted to 9 clones, on both own roots and a variety of rootstocks. Aside from Tim Brown and myself, other key members of the vineyard team include Rémi Jacquemain, Geoff McIntosh & Tom Myers. The name: Our farm lies in an area that was called Warekilla by the original inhabitants, the Wurundjeri people. In their language, Warekilla meant Place of Changing Winds (a trait that still holds true today).

Additional Information

Volume (ml)750ml
Winemaking PracticesMostly Conventional Techniques
Vineyard PracticesOrganic/Biodynamic
Product typeWine Red Pinot Noir
Sub-RegionMacedon Ranges

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