25 April 2013

April in Two Vineyards

I thought it would be interesting to post these photos of two Victorian vineyards, both taken earlier in April, to show the difference in climate, soil conditions and environment at exactly the same time of year.  Both vineyards are a similar size, and undertook vintage within a week of each other.  But it's a good example of why wine from different regions can be completely different in its characteristics.

Photo 1 is Dalwhinnie in the Pyrenees region, about 2.5 hours north-west of Melbourne.  The rainfall there is very low, and the soil conditions very dry.  There is not enough rainfall to allow for irrigation over summer, so the vines and viticulture techniques have had to adapt to the harsh conditions.  This has given the fruit unique characteristics that produces extraordinary quality and internationally regarded wine. 

Photo 2 is Shantell Vineyard, the home of the Country Garden, in the Yarra Valley about one hour east of Melbourne, also producing premium quality fruit and wine.  It was definitely a hot, dry summer, but there was enough water to allow for some irrigation, and the soil conditions are much richer than in the Pyrenees.  And with just a couple of downfalls in the last month, the vines were still vibrant and full of leaves, and the surrounding hills quickly gaining back their green glow.


  1. Wow, I'm amazed. Such a contrast! Do you happen to know what kind of grapes each vineyard is growing? I'm interested to hear if you have a preferred taste - dry climate vs wet(ter) climate?

    1. They both grow almost the same range: Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and Shantell also grows Semillon. I think it depends on the particular grape type, I don't think whole regions are better than others, but some varieties are definitely more successful in certain regions. I have to say that Dalwhinnie's Shiraz is one of the best I've ever had!