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
VINTAGE OVERVIEW: The 2013 vintage was a return to the summer conditions we are accustomed to in Heathcote, hot and dry from start to finish. In fact it was mentioned to me by a Heathcote local of 80 years that it was the driest summer he could remember. If it wasn't for the 60 mm of rain that fell in the last week of February we would not have recorded a single drop for 3 months. But with all this doom and gloom and plenty of head scratching, the vinyard survived better than you would expect. This could be explained by the previous 2 years of great rainfall, the soil profile saturated and the Cambrian soil deep and moist. Harvest was early because of the persistent heat but thankfully over quickly and and some wonderfully rich and vibrant wines in barrel.
WINEMAKING: We utilize traditional winemaking practices such as small fermentation tanks, natural fermentation (i.e. no yeast additions) and gravity feeding. Whilst this can be quite labour intensive, we believe it ensures the preservation of natural fruit flavours and the Heathcote terrior character. As with all varieties produced at Sanguine Estate, the grapes were destemmed, lightly crushed and then naturally fermented with wild indigenous yeasts in small open fermenters. The wine is then transferred via gravity (to avoid pump shock) to predominantly French oak barriques (approximately 15% new) and left to mature for approximately 12 months.