YARRAWOOD ESTATE’s terroir has exceptionally rich characteristics that nurture the growth of outstanding fruit.
The Estate is 150 acres in size, with a terroir that shifts and changes with the rise and fall of the land, giving each block unique characteristics. These variances were carefully considered during the initial design phase of the vineyard to ensure that varietal selection, location and row orientation would capitalise on the natural strengths of each block. Across the property each row is spaced 2.75m part. While within the rows, each individual vine is planted at 1.5m intervals. This planting strategy equates to 981 vines per acre.
The vines are grown using the Vertical Shoot Position (V.S.P.) trellis system. V.S.P. promotes upright growth of the vine allowing for maximum air-flow through the canopy and maximum canopy surface area for increased sun intake. This trellis system, complemented by the natural terroir and a vine density of 981 vines per acre, provides optimal conditions for growing premium fruit.
Fruit yields are restricted to ensure quality and yields vary according to varietal and the wine style being produced. The average amount of fruit produced by a single vine is between 2 and 3.5Kg.
At YARRAWOOD ESTATE we firmly believe that more than any other factor, the quality of the fruit determines the quality of the wine. Fruit quality is influenced by numerous features including climate, rainfall, terroir, yield, vine health and canopy management. While each parcel of fruit is harvested according to taste, acidity and sweetness. It is because grapes are a natural product that each vintage produces a unique wine that is reflective of the yield and growing conditions during that growing season.
Harvest normally falls within the months of February to April. Harvesting is carried out using both traditional hand harvesting and our Gregoire G65 mechanical harvester. Hand harvesting is employed when selectivity is required and/or whole berry/bunch ferments will be employed in the winemaking process. While mechanical harvesting offers great efficiency and the ability to harvest almost a 1,000 vines in a single hour, enabling us to harvest larger parcels of fruit just as it achieves optimal ripening.
Within hours of harvest the fruit enters the wine making process. Wines including Verdelho, Autumn Harvest Riesling & Rosé involve minimal wine making intervention. Following a light pressing, and a cool ferment in stainless steel vessels they are filtered and then bottled to preserve the freshness and vitality of the aromatics and the delicate palate.
Red varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot and Pinot Noir, which derive their colour from extended contact with the grape skins, are barrel matured to develop complexity and depth.
Maturation in quality oak barriques is an essential part of red wine production. YARRAWOOD currently holds an inventory of over 50,000 litres of oak. Barrels are predominately sourced from the leading coopers of France, including: Remond, Radoux, Rousseau, Saint Martin, Dargaud et Jaeglé and Murcurey.
Other wines including the sweet Autumn Harvest Riesling and the Botrytis Riesling retain natural sweetness from the fruit. This is achieved by halting ferment before the wine becomes dry.