Heathcote Wine Region, in Central Victoria, has grown a reputation as a great place to grow Shiraz. The region features a deep strip of rare, ancient, red Cambrian soil with excellent moisture retention characteristics, virtually eliminating the need for irrigation. It is this red soil that gives Heathcote Shiraz its distinctive character.
With better growing and ripening conditions than could have been imagined, the 2015 vintage is appearing to be the best vintage of this century! The consistent rainfall in December followed by two months of cool, dry weather ensured the vines remained healthy. Although the cooler temperatures caused winemakers some concern regarding grape ripening early in the season, the vines prevailed and utilised these conditions to ripen at remarkable rates. This led to robust, ripe fruit flavours at low sugar levels, accompanied by wonderful natural acidity.
‘Athol’s Paddock’ followed more recent trends with the vineyard being picked in two lots. The older vines located at the top end of the vineyard were picked first while the younger vines, which like most teenagers did their ripening at their own pace, were picked at a later date. The favourable characteristics of this picking practice in recent years has yielded remarkable flavours and complexity indicative of the fabulous terroir of our Athol’s Paddock vineyard.