Each parcel of fruit is critically assessed before it is harvested. This ensures that the grapes entering into their fermentation process are in the best natural health and enjoy further ageing with as little interference as possible. This ensures that the wine entering into its fermentation process enjoys further ageing with as little interference as possible. This then allows the wine to go through all fermentations and ageing with as little interference as possible. This process gives each wine its own distinct vintage characteristics. All current release wines are now bottled under Stelvin screw caps so as to capture the wine at a point in time that the winemaker truly thinks reflects the best the wine has to offer. All bottling, labeling and packaging is done on the premises for optimal quality control.
The King Valley is blessed as a location for grape growing. At Gracebrook vineyards we have been able to match our varieties to separate vineyard sites to maximize the potential we have here in the Valley.
The Chardonnay Block
The original block of Chardonnay was first planted in 1989 by David and Rhonda on the fertile river flat paddock. The first vintage of Chardonnay grapes were sold to Baileys of Glenrowan and subsequent vintages to large corporate companies. In 1994, they produced a small batch of wine made from a parcel of Chardonnay. They entered this wine into The King Valley Shed Wine Show, winning in its class for best Chardonnay. It was in 2000 that they started to make wine from larger parcels of fruit, bringing into being the first Gracebrook Chardonnay.
The Shiraz Block
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 Cabernet Sauvignon 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.
The Jarrott Farm
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 trains that ran from Whitfield to Wangaratta from 1899 until 1952, stopped regularly at the jarrott siding to pickup 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 centerpiece of the development.
Fruit Driven Wine Styles
Because of the unique topography, soil types and microclimate range of our extensive vineyard, we have been able to match our selected grape varieties to the carefully chosen location of quite separate vineyard sites around the property. Fresh aromatic Riesling, rich fruity Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and spicy Sangiovese all reflect the fruit-driven wine style for which the King Valley has become famous.