Established in 2003, the first 10 hectares of the Heathcote vineyard were planted with Shiraz, with a further 8 hectares of the varietal planted in 2005. The vineyard now also consists of 2 hectares of Sangiovese, as well as a few rows of the minor Tuscan variety – Colorino.
The vineyard itself shows little similarity to any others along the range – looking more at home in a European setting than in the Australian countryside. Vines grown here enjoy a warm Mediterranean climate, the region avoiding weather ‘extremes’ such as snow and strong winds.
The site has been specifically designed to produce low crops of grapes per vine. The vine density of 4,500 vines per hectare is over twice the average for the rest of the region. This high density reduces the vines vigour, and the competition between vines for water and nutrients produces a low but better quality grape yield per vine.
Orientation of the vines at Greenstone is also unique, with the rows running in an east-west, rather than the typical north-south direction. This ensures that the rays from the hot afternoon sun are avoided, which is crucial during the ripening period. The resulting lower berry temperatures produce fruits with livelier characters and brighter acidity.
The picturesque Yarra Valley vineyard was established in 1983 and is situated on 33 hectares at the base of the Christmas Hills, with 27 hectares of the property under vine.
The Yarra Valley is considered a cool climate region, with longer ripening periods favourable to the regions iconic varietals – Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet. These 3 varietals, along with Sauvignon Blanc were the first to be planted on the property in 1983/84. Over the course of the next 25 years a further 23 hectares of vines were planted, and included the addition of small parcels of Viognier and Petit Verdot. The staggered planting has provided a wide range of maturity in the vines and these variances can be highlighted within specific handcrafted parcels of wine.
The gently sloping and undulating land of this “Yarra Floor” vineyard is moderately warmer than its Upper Yarra counterparts, and the predominately grey sandy loam soils over a clay base, provide a consistent nutritional base for the vines, producing wines of varietal intensity, together with complexity and elegance.