Heathcote Estate's rich red Cambrian soil and dry mild climate provide the idyllic foundation for producing world class Shiraz. It is for these two reasons that the Heathcote wine district is considered one of Australia's pre-eminent regions for Shiraz.
THE VINEYARD: The Heathcote Estate vineyard was planted in 1999 and is situated on Drummond's Lane, bordering the well-known Jasper Hill Emily’s Paddock Vineyard.
The vineyard is planted on the slightly undulating, north-facing country on the ancient Cambrian soils which define the heart of the region. This is classic Heathcote terrain - rich red-brown top soil of variable depth, but on average 15 centimetres lying above a sub-soil of clay, small rocks, ‘greenstones’, quartz and rubble.
This is scarcely fertile country, but it is ideal for vines as it has excellent water-holding capacity, without promoting too much vigour. The vast majority of the vineyard is planted to Shiraz (72 acres), with just one block of grenache. There are five clones of shiraz planted - BVRC12, BVRC30, ESA3021, PT23, SA1654, SA1127.
WINEMAKING: Winemaking is essentially a pretty simple process and there is much talk these days about winemakers who ‘do nothing’. That doesn’t particularly make much sense to us, do nothing, get nothing. We like to describe it more like minimal intervention. A combination of intervening when required, but also backing off when we let nature run it’s course.
It is an evolution and philosophy that we are continually refining and tweaking. This results in subtle modifications of our techniques, such as increased use of whole bunches in the ferments, maturation in large 6,500L oak vats and 500L French oak barrels and shorter barrel ageing times.