The Fork in the Road

Senior Winemaker Mark Nikolich weighs in on the Upper Yarra vs. Lower Yarra Pinot Noir debate and what to expect from the 2019 vintage.

23 Jan The Fork in the Road

As you drive down the Maroondah Hwy after Lilydale and make your way into the heart of the Yarra Valley, you are confronted with a fork in the road : “do I turn right into the Warburton Hwy or swing left and head towards Coldstream?”

Most people would swing left, chasing the bright lights of iconic producers like Domain Chandon, Yering Station or De Bortoli, just to name a few.

The Warburton Hwy, however, is not without is star performers. Think Seville Estate, Hoddles Creek or Killara Estate. The question we’re often posed is, “which side produces the best wine?”. The best way to answer that would be to visit our cellar door and make up your our mind!

The 2019 vintage is looking quite promising in terms of fruit quality and we’re especially excited about getting our hands on Pinot Noir from all parts of the Yarra.

Typically, we start picking in early March at sites along the Melba Hwy (Coldstream, Gruyere, Yering, Yarra Glen, Dixons Creek) which forms the backbone of our True Colours Pinot Noir and Black Label Pinot Noir.

Our Pinot Rose is the only Pinot Noir product that straddles both sides of the Yarra Valley.  It combines the perfume and delicacy from Gladysdale fruit with the structure and flavour intensity from sites in Yarra Glen and Yering.  

Pinot Noir from the cooler sites along the Warburton Hwy is picked around 1-2 weeks later which normally finds its way into our White Label product. Stylistically, our white label intends to present Pinot Noir in its purest, most pretty and delicious form. Think 1960’s Priscilla Presley. It gets the best oak treatment and is handled very gently. The Black Label Pinot Noir, however, is a single site wine from Yering that provides an interesting, generous and flavoursome offering. Think Nigella Lawson.  Finally, our True Colours Pinot Noir is made to be seductive, delicious and instantly likeable. You can think of your own comparisons for that one…