Each parcel of fruit is critically assessed before harvested. This ensures that the grapes entering the winery for fermentation are in the best natural health and allows as little interference as possible. This process gives each wine its own distinct vintage characteristics.
All bottling, labelling and packaging is done on the premises for optimal quality control. Because of the unique topography, soil types and microclimate range of our extensive vineyards, we have been able to match our selected grape varieties to carefully chosen location. This is our fruit-driven wine style for which the King Valley has become famous for.
The Peipers Lane paddock was purchased by David and Rhonda in 1995. This particular 56 acres of land had been neglected for a number of years and presented challenges in the control of blackberry, bracken fern and vermin. As they cleared the land and proceeded to sow it to pasture the farm revealed the deep well-drained red basalt soils, this with the northern aspect of the block, the abundance of water to be found in the little creek at the foot of the slope, all inspired this to become what is now known as the Shiraz Block.
The vineyard stands in front of the Cellar Door on an overlay of volcanic red basalt soils, terra rossa. This vineyard comprises some 12 acres (5ha) of vines divided into two separate irrigation blocks to cater for the varying depth of the basalt soil. This vineyard has been delivering high quality classic cool climate fruit since 2000 with our 2003 Stables Cabernet Sauvignon winning a gold medal at the 2006 Cowra Wine Show.
This farm had been held by the Jarrott family since settlement in the King Valley and had a long history of being one of the premium farms of the King Valley. The narrow gauge goods train that ran from Whitfield to Wangaratta from 1899 until 1952, stopped regularly at the Jarrott siding to pick up produce that was grown on this farm. The Jarrott family reluctantly, due to family reasons, placed the farm on the market in late 1997. David and Rhonda saw this as a tremendous opportunity and exciting challenge, which they were only too willing to accept. The purchase of the property was arranged and settlement occurred on the 26th of April 1998.The vision that was Gracebrook Vineyards had started. During the next two years, some 75 acres of vineyards were established on the property along with all supporting infrastructure, from rebuilding and enlarging dams for both stock and irrigation water to fencing and road and track improvements on the property. Those years were spent building stockyards, upgrading pasture in the grazing paddocks, and harvesting and cutting timber for the restoration of the stables that David and Rhonda had planned as the centrepiece of the development.
The Groom family, Brian his wife Jocelyn and son Doug bought Avalon in 1981. Brian was a Marine engineer by trade but always wanted to be a farmer. Son Doug studied winemaking at Roseworthy in South Australia and together they started planting the vineyard, building a house, and eventually building a winery, the first Cellar door in the King Valley. 1986 was their first vintage, varieties planted were Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Brian and Jocelyn retired in 2001 where Doug and his wife Rosa bought the winery and continued on until 2013 where they sold the property to David and Rhonda Maples. Grapes such as Cabernet and Pinot Noir have been producing excellent wines for Gracebrook.