The Yarra Valley is our home and our winery is located in Healesville. The Yarra Valley is Victoria’s first wine growing district and its history of winemaking stretches back 160 years. While considered a cool climate, the Yarra Valley is incredibly diverse in soil type, rainfall (750mm-950mm) and elevation (50-1000m). Due to the large range of conditions, it is taking us some time to identify the unique character of each site and the grape variety which will best suit.
Conditions and therefore wine styles shift as you move through the Yarra. The wines of the warmer lower Yarra display more texture and openness than those of the Upper Yarra, which tend to display greater structure, perfume, and weight. We have two lower Yarra sites (Gruyere, Coldstream) and four upper Yarra sites (Woori Yallock, Hoddles Creek, Yarra Junction and Wesburn). The Upper Yarra sites are protected from the harsh northerly winds and receive cooling influences from the Great Dividing Range. They have a higher rainfall and are higher in elevation. The typical soil type of the Upper Yarra Valley is a highly friable red volcanic soil. What distinguishes our Upper Yarra Sites, with the exception of Hoddles Creek, is the fact that the soils are comprised of a grey loamy clay overlying siltstone. These grey soils result in wines with far greater weight, drive and nerve.
There remain a number of challenges to our region. What makes the Yarra Valley unique is still a question we struggle with. We want diversity in fruit expression in our wines and as a result we feel a need to move beyond wine making derived styles and give greater voice to each of our unique sites. We are committed to making wines of place.
The School House block in Woori Yallock was planted in 1995 and has been leased by Mac Forbes Wines since 2012. Woori Yallock is located in the cooler Upper Yarra Valley.
The Bowhouse vinehyard is also in the township of Woori Yallock, and is 1km from our original Woori vineyard.
In 2017, we took over the farming of the Little Yarra vineyard in the gorgeous Gladysdale township.
This vineyard took 14 years in the making. Since 2005, I have been search for a site on the south facing slopes of the dividing range (Mt Toolebewong).
Hoddles Creek planted in 1981 is our highest site in the Upper Yarra as it sits at an elevation of 270m. It is also our only site on volcanic red soils which are very deep and have a high water holding capacity.
This is the most windswept site sitting between Warramate Hills and Mt Toobelewong.
Wesburn was planted in 1981 and is the most eastern site leased by Mac Forbes. It is located just before the township of Warburton, at the foot of Mount Bride (1000m).
Yarra Junction is our coolest site in the far eastern Yarra Valley, just next to Wesburn. Planted in 1995 the soils at Yarra Junction are grey loamy clay overlying siltstone.