In 1999, a rare and special parcel of land on the ancient Cambrian soils of Heathcote was found and planted with shiraz vines. These 500 million year old soils are highly sought-after and only found in selected sites.
Our flagship Heathcote Estate Shiraz is a single vineyard wine expressing the best characteristics of the variety from this region.
Heathcote, in central Victoria, is well-renowned for its rich soils and characteristic, intense, balanced red wines. Both the climate and soils of this region are strongly influenced by the Mt Camel Range which runs from Corop in the north to Tooborac in the south, providing natural tunnelling for the prevailing cool, south to south-east winds that blow throughout the growing period from October to March.
The Heathcote Estate vineyard is situated on Drummond's Lane, bordering the well known Jasper Hill Emily’s Paddock Vineyard. The site is managed and cared for by vineyard manager Vin Harrop, and he and the team have meticulously nurtured each vine in each row - hand pruning the vines through winter and handpicking each bunch of fruit each harvest.
The vineyard is planted on the slightly undulating, north-facing country which is the heartland of the region. The land 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, 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.
Check out individual vintage reports here.
single block release program
Since 2008, the ‘Single Block Release’ program has allowed us to explore the subtle nuances of our vineyard and gain a deeper understanding of its character, and its evolution as the vines mature.
Each parcel of fruit from each unique sub-block (of each block) is handled seperately in the winery (see our vineyard block map above for further detail). When a particular block stands out for its individual character and expression, we bottle a small parcel seperately under our Single Block Release label.
We’re focused on crafting wines that have distinct personality and presence. It is the vineyard that has these inherent qualities, so our goal is to provide a clear and precise translation with no distortion. Wines that speak clearly of their origins are the wines that need no or subtle manipulation.