Hear about our new ‘ Single Vineyards’ arrivals from Shadowfax !
Since its first release from the 2015 vintage from Shadowfax’ uber-cool climate vineyard site at Little Hampton – high in the Macedon Ranges out the back of Trentham – this single-vineyard site has been something pretty special. Right on the edge of what could be considered sane for table-wine production, sitting beyond 700 metres above sea-level, it’s one of those places that just feels like it is destined to grow great wine. Rich, quartz-flecked red-earth volcanic soils, rare at this altitude, lots of sunshine in the midst of plenty of cool air and gentle though not insignificant slopes that capture every single ray, this is a perfect spot for a vineyard if ever there was one. A set of conditions that lead Shadowfax to jump at the chance of owning it going on for 10 years ago now.
As we readied ourselves for the release of the 2021 Single Vineyard wines from Macedon – a real ‘terroir’ vintage thanks in in no small part to the sun playing hide and seek for most of that particular growing season but making a late cameo to just in the nick of time – I headed across to the vineyard to check on the progress of the 2023 flowering that was still not quite done. It will be another late one! The real exciting news though is of further plantings of Pinot Noir. Like another 6 hectares of Pinot Noir!
Last year Shadowfax were able to acquire the bordering property – previously just farmland – and have been preparing it for planting with some clearing and deep ripping needing to be before poles could go in the ground. Then there was the small matter of some 400mm of rain in October to contend with but finally come January access was finally possible for Alister Timms to get in there with is team and set about getting 28,000 Pinot Noir vines in the ground. Nice way to spend a couple of weeks! To be planted at 6,000 vines per hectare, a bit over 800cm vine-spacing the plantings are mostly MV6 on a variety of rootstocks to spread the eventual picking dates plus some Pommard and 667 clonal material. Even with just half of the planting done and what, 7 years before this plot with make proper wine, this is already and impressive sight! Even further up the hill there’s plans to plant more Chardonnay to augment the existing parcel and when conditions allow keep an eye out for a single-vineyard Chardonnay from here to sit alongside the Midhill.
For now though the message is clear – Shadowfax are laying down roots big-time in Macedon and are in the region for the long-haul, quietly carving out a reputation for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris that are in the mix for the regions very best.
Patrick Walsh, CellarHand