The Hunter Family worked weekends to establish the initial 16 acres that grew rapidly over the following years to 55 acres by 2002.
50 acres has been planted to Shiraz whilst 5 acres (affectionately referred to as the fruit salad block) has 8 different varieties to test what else ie other than Shiraz, could do well in our Heathcote microclimate. The varieties include Chardonnay, Viognier, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo and one variety that is unknown in Australia. An exciting mystery that’s worth an explanation.
After our first vintage was already bottled, my father was reading a book on early Victorian viticultural history called “Better than Pommard” by David Dunstan. At the back of the book it lists early Victorian Vignerons and it was there that my father discovered that his great great grandfather Pietro D’Orsa (my great great great grandfather – makes him seem sooo much older) was registered as a vigneron in Maldon – just a hop skip and a jump away from Heathcote. This discovery was simply amazing. We have since visited the site of Pietro’s vineyard, met family we never new existed who still own the property and found remnant vines that we have since had DNA tested. This is where the mystery vine comes in. For one of the vines there is no record of this particular variety in Australia so it truly is a mystery. So we grafted it to a special vineyard on our property in Heathcote. It’s an aromatic pink grape and just how well it will do in our Heathcote climate remains to be seen but it’s still very exciting all the same.'- Sanguine Estate