People often say that great wines are made in the vineyard. We totally agree with this statement with one small adjustment and that is; great wines are made in certain vineyards as there is little doubt in our mind that the biggest determining factor on grape quality is where the grapevines are planted.
Yes there will be vintage variations due to climactic conditions and the quality of the fruit can be detrimentally impacted by bad vineyard practices, but at the end of the day the fruit will taste a certain way because of where it is planted.
This is why we focussed our attention in the Yarra Valley and in particular the site we now call Helen’s Hill Estate. We spent a lot of time in the early 90’s looking at the soil types, aspects and microclimates that prevail on the site before we started the whole project. Unlike some sites that are not suited to different varieties we feel that Helen’s Hill Estate is perfectly suited to growing a number of different varieties to their optimum.
"We feel that Helen’s Hill Estate is perfectly suited to growing a number of different varieties to their optimum"
Firstly, it is located well above the valley floor on the Southern ranges of the Yarra Valley some 140 metres above sea level. Secondly it is a long (2.5 kilometres) relatively skinny (0.8 kilometres) block that has a number of hills running through the property. Finally, it is these hills that provide different soil types and different micro climates that allow us to match those conditions perfectly to the different varieties that we grow on the one, albeit quite diverse, site.
Planting the vines in their right location is not only the first step, it is singularly the most important step in growing great fruit and judging by the success of our wines we feel confident that we are on, pardon the pun, solid ground!!