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Thursday 30 November 2023

New wine producer out of the blocks like a rocket

If you haven't heard of Glenhope Vineyard it might be the right time to get the new wine producer on your radar.

The Macedon Ranges label has just released its inaugural eight wines - and they are crackers across the board - and all retail for under $40 a bottle.

The undulating 450-485 metres Macedon Ranges site was first planted with vines in 1995 by Tom Lazar from Virgin Hills, and has long sold fruit to some some high-profile producers including Bindi, Silent Way, Latta Vino, Joshua Cooper and others.

In 2021, James and Marlin Gevergizian went in search of a rural retreat in the Macedon Ranges, bought the property and set their sights on becoming top growers and producers in the region.

For the 2022 vintage, they put aside grape parcels for their own label.

With the help of vigneron Scott Harrington and vineyard assistant Flynn Kelly, they had a brilliant start to the journey with the Gordon Knight Trophy for Best Winery in Show at the 2023 Macedon Range Wine Show.

Not bad for a wine producer that was at that time without a single bottle to sell.

Now that has been rectified, I have tasted through the range and am genuinely impressed.

It is rare to taste eight wines from one label and not find a couple of weaker releases. Not here. These are excellent across the board.

The range - all from 2022 - comprises six wines at $38: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot and two shirazes: B5 Ferrosol and B3 Granitic, along with a pinot noir shiraz blend for $32 and a Rosé for $28.

The lifted, floral and very varietal Cabernet Franc was my favourite, but I also had a lot of time for the composed Malbec and the fresh, vibrant, carbonic macerated "nouveau" blend.

All were solid and self assured. Dangerously gluggable, in fact with great fruit doing its thing without too much interference. 

With 94 acres under vine, Glenhope is the region’s biggest vineyard. It is planted to chardonnay and riesling as well the varieties used in the new releases.

The soil profile extends from granitic at the elevated end of the site, to sandy loam, and an ironstone-rich volcanic loam on the eastern ridge. 

The site is 450-485 metres above sea level with diurnal temperature ranges that mean slow ripening periods with long ‘hangtime’ during the growing season, which stretches well into May.

Viticulturalist and winemaker Harrington has worked in Central Victoria, the Yarra Valley, Hunter Valley and the Macedon Ranges over 25 years with stints at various domains across Europe.

He has been guided by mentors including Paul Bridgeman (Levantine Hill) and Steve Webber (De Bortoli Yarra Valley).

The wines are attractively labelled and effectively colour coded. 

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