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Greenstone Vineyards

Winery

Australia

17/12/2019

History: Greenstone Vineyards was established in 2003 as a 40 ha property near the town Colbinabbin (about a 90 minute drive north of Melbourne) by David GleaveMW (Liberty Wines UK), Alberto Antonini(Poggiotondo) & legendary Australian viticulturist Mark Walpole. The site was recognized as being ideal for Shiraz & Sangiovese. Lying just north of the Great Dividing Range, at an altitude of around 200 metres, the vineyard is positioned on the ridge of old Cambrian soil that runs through the eastern side of the range. This narrow strip is unique, not only to vine growing in Victoria, but in Australia. What also makes this vineyard unique to the region, is that it was planted in an East/West orientation, protecting the fruit from the potentially harsh afternoon sun resulting in wines with finer structure and composition. The soils are the oldest known in the country, originating over 550 million years ago. Most soils of volcanic origin in Australia are young and highly acidic whereas these ancient Cambrian soils are near neutral in pH. The range itself is a result of a rift in the sea floor, from which molten rock arose, encapsulating limestone into the lava. The resulting soil is deep, red-coloured, mottled with lime and impart low vigour to the 20 hectares of vines growing in it. It is from these soils that the winery derived its name -Heathcote ‘Greenstone’is a form of copper-infused basalt and is an integral part of the soil. The climate and generous red soils of the Heathcote vineyard create a unique combination that is ideal for producing outstanding Shiraz and Sangiovese. The success of Greenstone's Heathcote wines led the team to explore opportunities to expand their repertoire -Upholding the requirement to find the best locations for each varietal, the search led to the Yarra Valley -the home of some of Australia's finest Pinot Noir, Chardonnay & Cabernet varietals. The Yarra Valley vineyard has a long history of producing outstanding wines perfectly suited to, and reflecting, the local climate and soils -a critical part of the Greenstone winemaking philosophy. Originally Yarra Ridge -planted in 1983, Greenstone acquired the vineyard and winery in January 2015. The expansion of the vineyard and wine portfolio hasn't changed our views on what makes a great wine -we've just created the opportunity to produce a wider range of wine varietals in the way that we think great wines are made –by starting with the best sites that produce the best grapes. These wines will be a reflection of the unique characteristics of their region. Viticulture Ethos: Our wines are anchored upon our estate vineyards grown on the ancient soils of two of Australia’s most renowned wine regions: the Heathcote vineyard where Greenstone was born, and our Yarra Valley vineyard where our winery is based. Both vineyards share common characteristics, with the ancient and complex geology on both sites being the main feature. The bedrock in our Heathcote vineyard was formed as a result of underwater volcanic activity between two fault lines on the ancient seabed half a billion years ago. The result is the Cambrian greenstone strewn throughout our vineyard and from which we derive our name. It is a copper-infused basalt, interspersed with complex minerals such as quartz and limestone from weathered sedimentary bedrock. Extreme weathering throughout the past 500 million years led to the formation of the iron rich, terra rossasurface and subsoil. It is this complex geology, together with the warm climate, which led to Greenstone’s original founders to devote this site to growing the Mediterranean varieties of Shiraz, Sangiovese, and smaller amounts of Mataro and Colorino. Our Yarra Valley vineyard is composed of grey silty loams formed from 400+ million year old Silurian mudstones, degraded by hundreds of millions of years of alluvial activity. These old and hungry soils are naturally low in nutrients, critical to controlling vegetative growth and thus disease prevention in a cool climate region, ensuring that during the most critical period of fruit ripening, all of the vines’ energies are focused towards low yields of intensely flavoured fruit. Our belief is that the unique age and geology of our distinguished sites go a long way in giving our wines their “soul”. We take a sustainable approach to grapegrowingwith the purpose of respecting and protecting these ancient sites. We farm these sites with a light hand, with minimal soil disturbance and maintaining a healthy cover crop throughout the season to protect the soil structure. No pesticides are used as we believe that natural, biological control with beneficial insects is the most responsible approach for controlling pests and maintaining biodiversity. With an increasingly organic focus, we hope that we can achieve organic accreditation in the near future. Winemaking Philosophy: Our winemaking ethos is tied hand-in-hand with our approach in our vineyards. We strongly believe that we have some of the most distinguished wine-growing sites in Australia and that each wine has a story spanning hundreds of millions of years to tell. Our approach is to respect the history of each site, and to allow its time, its place, and its fruit to shine through in every wine. This is achieved by focusing on freshness, brightness, and purity as the qualities that we strive to achieve in the story’s narrative, with minimal winemaking artifice. At the same time, we are constantly on a mission to explore and push the boundaries of what can be achieved on each site. There are constantly experiments such as new clonal planting material, and fermentations with varying amounts of whole-bunch and skin contact time. The story of each vineyard is an evolving one which are constantly seeking to make more interesting.

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