BALGOWNIE ESTATE
Bendigo
Balgownie Estate is one of Australia's greatest small vineyards. Located near the historic gold mining town of Bendigo in central Victoria, the Estate was established in 1969 on a superb site of alluvial soil at Maiden Gully, 112 miles northwest of Victoria's capital, Melbourne. From the first vintage in 1972, the wines drew critical acclaim, setting the pace for the many who followed by planting vines in the area. Today, Balgownie Estate is the most respected name in the region, standing as the benchmark of a central Victorian style reliant on well-ripened fruit, distinctive local terroir and sympathetic use of oak.

"Once again the most respected name in the region... with powerful, intense Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Both outstanding."
James Halliday (2007)
  • Founded: 1969
  • Owner: The Forrester Family
  • Winemaker: Tony Winspear
  • Size: 75 acres
  • Climate: Warm, highly continental
  • Key Varieties: Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon

Winemaking

Fruit grown in this dry, inland Australian region has a character all of its own; a character that set Balgownie apart in the 1970s and re-established Bendigo as a viable wine producing area after the phylloxera devastation of the late 1890s. Such personality is fiercely guarded in the Balgownie winery where fruit is handled gently in order to protect the delicate flavors and preserve typicity. Avoiding gratuitous use of new oak and excessive manipulation in the winery allows the quality of the fruit to speak for itself. Extended maceration bestows fine, delicate tannins to balance the concentrated fruit flavors. This intuitive and insightful winemaking sees Ansted create regional benchmarks of concentration, longevity and a grace belying their power.

Viticulture

Bendigo’s continental climate provides hot summer days tempered by cool nights, while the region’s minimal rainfall leaves the land parched year-round. Farming in this arid climate proves challenging, yet with an approach targeting sustainability and minimal environmental impact, Balgownie Estate consistently achieves regional and varietal typicity. Hand-tended by a passionate team, vines are shoot and bunch thinned to ensure the small crops ripen evenly, while the nutrient poor, brown loam soils naturally check vine vigor. Without due care, fruit grown under such conditions can lack vitality, yet Balgownie’s expertise sees fruit harvested with varietal definition and vibrant flavors, ultimately producing powerful wines of distinctive personality and impeccable structure.

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