The Character of Dalwhinnie
Hailed by critics and wine lovers alike, Dalwhinnie has been growing grapes for nearly 50 years and is now a fully mature vineyard, producing ultra-premium wines that are distinctive, elegant and reflect the benefit of a dry-grown vineyard.
Dalwhinnie is located near the small village of Moonambel in the heart of the Pyrenees region of western Victoria, Australia and is a super-premium producer of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
At 595 metres above sea level, Dalwhinnie is the highest and most remote of the Pyrenees district vineyards. Surrounded and sheltered by the highest range, this unique bowl of vines is located in a naturally undulating trough which falls away from the hills, forming an amphitheatre nestled into the ranges.
The 16-hectare vineyard is situated on the 37th parallel in the southern hemisphere. The poor and fragile soils from left-over alluvial mining areas in the 1850s are some of the hardest and hungriest you will ever see. However, the climate and soils are well suited to the production of complex Shiraz and this is why we specialise in this great variety.
The site is totally frost-free which enables the grapes to reach optimum ripeness. The vineyard is non-irrigated and operated on strong organic viticultural principles with the fruit handpicked, and the vines cane-pruned by hand. The small individual vineyards average around 1.8 hectares in size and because of the hungry sedimentary soils the cropping levels are low; only 1.5 hectares per tonne.
Harvest usually starts the third week in February and is completed around the first week in April. Cover crops are sown every year between the vineyard rows to add nitrogen to the soil. The average annual rainfall is 550mm with most rain falling between July and November.
The site was originally purchased by Ewan Jones, an architect, in 1973 and named after the Scottish Highlands town of his Scottish ancestors. He planted the vineyard after deep ripping (twice) the vine rows, removing trees and rock picking the site.
In 1983 Ewan's eldest son, David, took over the management of the vineyard, and later owned and operated Dalwhinnie from 1994 to January 2020 when it was acquired by Fogarty Wine Group.
Now part of the Fogarty Wine Group portfolio, Dalwhinnie keeps good company alongside Lake's Folly in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales; Lowestoft and Tasmanian Vintners in Tasmania; and Deep Woods Estate, Evans & Tate, Millbrook Winery and Smithbrook Wines in Western Australia.