In 1967 Melbourne entrepreneur Ross Shelmerdine commisioned wine industry stalwart Colin Pearce to find the best site for premium grape growing anywhere in south eastern Australia. Preece chose an old grazing estate, prized for it's climate, soil and proximity to the waterways. Colin Preece, one of the great winemakers of the 20th century, and for decades chief winemaker at Seppelt Great Western, came out of a ten-year retirement to help found Mitchelton in 1973.
Led by viticulturalist John Beresford, the Mitchelton winemakers are caretakers rather than scientists. They like running Victorian dirt through their fingers, nuturing the vines but letting the grapes do all the real talking. Each of the delicately crafted, single varietal wines displays the pinnacle of cool climate complex aromas, intense flavour, a spectrum of perfumes, refinement and distinction. It shows every time you open a bottle of Preece.
Grapes grown in different climates produce very different styles of wine. This is because the cooler the climate, the slower it takes for the grapes to ripen, and the longer the grapes have to ripen, the more time they have to perfect their flavour. Anyone who knows anything about Victorian weather knows that, even in the warmest months, Victoria can be pretty cool. To ensure the fruit ripens, the grapes are left on the vines up to three months longer than in other wine regions.
It's in this time that the grapes are afforded the luxury of slow ripening, allowing them to develop a greater spectrum and depth of flavour, wonderfully delicate aromas and a backbone of freshness. Not even a fast paced world will hurry the grapes from the Mitchelton vineyards into ripening sooner.
Combining years of hands-on experience and an intimate understanding of the estate, the Preece philosophy is to unlock the best fruit from Victorian vineyards through innovation and attention to detail. A diversity of vineyard sites creates a rich range of fine wines brimming with a complex balance of flavours. The unique microclimates of the Mitchelton Preece vine parcels allow the development of a more intense spectrum of elegant flavours and delicious lifted aromas.
Coupled with judicious use of innovative winemaking techniques, this approach gives shape and definition to the expressive qualities of Preece, creating wines of distinct personality, finesse and longevity. With the focus on individual block-targeting, each vineyard is selected for the most suitable grape variety, clone and rootstock combination. This intensive approach ensures every Preece wine achieves its full potential, expressing superior flavour profiles and good structure.