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Old Richmond Gaol was one of Diemen Land's first prisons, built by the convicts themselves, of good old fashioned granite blocks, laboriously hauled in wooden hand carts and quarried from the ominously monikered Butchers Hill. Today, Butchers Hill is the site of the steepest sloping vineyard in Coal River Valley, invigorated by afternoon sea breezes and prevailing winds from the roaring forties, its highly auspicious, self mulching black Vertosols, yield extraordinary wines. Established by founding members of the Hobart Beefsteak & Burgundy Club, Butchers Hill represents three generations of passion amongst the nether vineyards of the Apple Isle. Not just a purveyor of pretty Pinot Noir, Pooley Estate.. Princely parcels of pooley»
At latitude 45 degrees south, Central Otago is the southernmost wine region in the world. Snow topped mountains, rocky ranges and dry tussock hills, a place of climatic extremes, bitterly cold winters, parched soils and discouragingly poor fertility. Designed by the angels in heaven for sublime and stupendous vintages of Pinot Noir. At the very epicentre of the most desirable confluence in Central Otago microclimes is Nanny Goat Vineyard. Conspicuous for her serious weight of fruit, splendid structure and chewy, textural palate, Nanny Goat make a magnificently endowed style, offering the understated power and presence to accompany gourmet game sausages, meaty Mediterranean braises or char grilled rib... That's perfect for porterhouse»
The Australian winemaking industry is grateful to Leontine O'Shea, instrumental in the establishment of Mount Pleasant wines, she sent her son Maurice to France for an education in viticulture right at the outbreak of World War I, gifting him his first Hunter Valley vineyard in 1921. Mount Pleasant are now custodians of some grand old sites, a canon of small, elite blocks of vine that yield a precious range of icon wines, which represent peerless value and readily disappear before release of the following vintage... The legacy of grand old hunter valley vineyards»
Giant Steps
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Giant Steps
The Giant Steps winemakers are directing their winemaking towards single vineyards in locations that can support varietals of distinction

Great wine is made in the vineyard. At its best it is like a fingerprint, inextricably linking the personality and mood of the land from which it has sprung.

Giant Steps

The Giant Steps vineyard is on 115 acres of rocky gravel over clay, 50 km east of Melbourne, on the north facing slopes of the Warramate ranges overlooking the Yarra Valley. The vineyard covers two ridges that rise from 400 to 1100 feet above the valley floor.

Giant Steps seek to grow fruit and ultimately make wine that is less overt and obvious than is encouraged in Australia. The winemakers look for structure and length rather than breadth; finesse rather than largesse and above all, fruit rather than artefact.

Giant Steps is owned and operated by a small team - Phil, Allison and Harry Sexton.

The story starts 2600 km and 23 years ago when Phil established the Devils Lair vineyard in Margaret River. He was joined there in 1990 by Allison, an American biochemist. 1995 proved an excellent year; son Harry was born.

Giant Steps

In life, not many people get the chance to do something again; differently, with the benefit of hindsight. While they loved the wines they were producing, they dreamed of creating a small, specialised cool climate vineyard together, as a family. From scratch.

And, in 1997 they took the giant step; sold Devils Lair and crossed Australia to a dream site on the slopes of Victoria's Yarra Valley, alongside several benchmark cool climate vineyards that they had long admired.

After an immense amount of work and many years they have turned a horse stud into a vineyard. The winemakers wanted hands on and they got it.

The Sexton family winemakers are quietly confident that the Yarra Valley can produce Bordeaux varietals with savoury structure, finesse, clarity and textbook fruit purity; without the cedary, geranium/capsicum characters we so often see in this country out of cooler or fast ripening regions.

Giant Steps