Bordered by the mountains of the Great Dividing Range, the vineyards of the Yarra Valley stretch across a spectacular landscape, creating a panorama of unrivalled beauty. From the first plantings in the 1800's when James Ryrie carried 600 vine cuttings overland from Sydney to settle in the region, the Yarra Valley has been considered to be one of the premium wine regions of Australia. The Valley's cool climate provides a long ripening period which produces wines of intense varietal flavour, finesse and elegance. Wines that when consumed young have immediate appeal but will age gracefully with careful cellaring.
The region has three distinct sub-regions climatically, being warmer to the north up around De Bortoli, slightly cooler in the vineyards around the town of Coldstream, and then cooler again to the south, where the vineyards are planted on fertile terra rossa. There is a diversity of wines style across the valley, but with the uniform feature of great elegance.
Oakridge began as a small family winery in 1978 with its original vineyards in the rolling hills of Seville in the southern part of the Yarra Valley. The winery immediately received critical and commercial acclaim, and is a very successful exhibitor on the national and international wine show circuit. Operations were moved to the present site in Coldstream in 1998 where a new 1100 tonne winery and visitors centre were purpose built. Oakridge merged with Evans & Tate in October 2001, allowing Oakridge to focus on ensuring that the quality reputation that has been established will be maintained and indeed further enhanced.
The winery is equipped with a five tonne capacity Euro press, which will be joined by a fifteen tonne capacity Bucher press in 2004 as all services are upgraded during the rebuilding and refitting process. Static fermenters utilising pump overs, and Potter fermenters with open fermentation and pigeage techniques are all employed. Stainless steel tanks provide 310000 litres of storage. The barrel hall is fully temperature controlled and filled with French oak exclusively, (primarily from Francois Fréres, D&J, and Sirugue,) with approximately 80% barriques and 20% hogsheads. There are plans to purchase puncheons in 2004 to give further oak regime options.