Durif Bendigo Victoria
The Connor Park vineyards were planted by industrialist Tom Connor in the 1960s, with a view to establishing a test site for the development of the automatic grape harvester. It was acquired by the Lougoons in the 1980s, a family of pastoralists who learned quickly about the synergy between grazing and winemaking. A small parcel of closely cosseted Durif vines at Lake Marmal near Bendigo, yields a precious harvest of world class Durif grapes. A powerful, opaque wine with sizeable tannin, countered by a palate of remarkable intensity and profound length.
Ross and Robyn Lougoon divide their time between running a flock of 1800 merino sheep through dry and dusty paddocks, while growing premium dryland grapes to craft award winning wines. Livestock and vineyards are a perfect match, mutually compatible and holistic, an idyll for viticulture. Durif is all picked by hand, crushed and fermented while being hand plunged in open vats, adjacent to the sheep yards. Traditional vinification techniques are employed with the least possible human intervention. Upon completion, components are gently basket pressed into a selection of American oak barrels for a year's maturation. Only a few hundred cases of Connor Park Durif are produced each year.
Deep, bright crimson, you immediately know this is a serious wine. Intense black cherry and gunsmoke nose, raspberries and anise, olive and dried herb. The palate does not let you down, full bodied, intense black plum flavours and smokey oak, rich fruit dominates, supported by firm tannin structure and a veneer of background oak. A no brainer alongside char grilled steak.