Heathcote wine region
North of the Great Dividing Range the region is at elevations between 160 and 380 metres (520 and 1,250 ft). The climate and soils are strongly influenced by the Mt Camel range that extends from Corop to Tooborac. For the most part, the soil under vine is Cambrian - red and deep with excellent water holding capacity. As a consequence some vignerons do not irrigate and aim for smaller fruit intensely rich in flavour. The region’s rainfall is evenly distributed between the seasons and the temperature range is defined as temperate, with cooling winds emanating from the south resulting in summer temperatures two to three degrees cooler than nearby Bendigo.
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Heathcote is recognised as a producer of high-end Shiraz wines, even rivaling those of the Rhone Valley from where the Syrah vine cuttings were originally sourced for Australia's Syrah/Shiraz vineyards. It is home to some flagship winemakers who have achieved international fame for their representations of Australian Shiraz.
The oldest Shiraz vines on the Cambrian soil where planted by Albino Zuber in the late 1960s on a site that has now been acquired by Shadowfax Winery.
Other notable wines of the Heathcote region include Wild Duck Creek Estate - the home of Duck Muck. Jasper Hill - an organic grower producing fruit for its wines and Paul Osicka Wines - one of the longer established wine producers in the Heathcote wine region. However, other wines have emerged to confirm that the region as a major producer of high-end Shiraz. The area also produces white wines such as Riesling and Viognier to name but two varieties.
Although Heathcote is regarded on par with other notable red wine regions in Australia, the scarcity of its wines has left the district in relative obscurity. Its wines are perceived as exclusive, in part because of the difficulty in obtaining them. This is changing with new plantings and new wineries coming on stream and more boutique Heathcote winemakers preparing to supply the domestic and global markets.
- "Heathcote, Victoria". Wine Regions. Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation. Retrieved 2007-03-28.
- Halliday, James. "Regional Spotlight - Heathcote - Region Summary". Winepros. ewineexchange limited. Retrieved 2007-02-28.
- "History of winemaking in Heathcote". Retrieved 2008-01-04.
- Halliday, James. "Regional Spotlight - Heathcote - Wines". Winepros. ewineexchange limited. Retrieved 2007-02-28.
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