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Welcome to Vinelea Wines of Beechworth

Vinelea is a small vineyard and winery, owned and managed by Stuart Smith & Rhonda Parish, a couple who studied science and worked in Melbourne in various technical and professional roles before moving to Beechworth in country Victoria for a life more in tune with the seasons. We are passionate about conservation, and the health of our land and the vineyard in particular. The care and attention taken to all vineyard work and winemaking results in high quality, intensely flavoured wine.

We produce very small quantities of three wines, about 120 cases of each, the style of all three being influenced by classic French wines. Each is designed to be appealing in youth, as well as promising an exciting old age.

Our Shiraz is concentrated and full bodied with fine tannins, and offers scents of raspberry, blackberry, earth, spice, black cherry, bacon, olives and pepper. The Chardonnay is lean in its youth, but displays good body and depth of lemon/lime fruit flavours that will mellow and become rounder and deeper with age. The ‘petit blanc’, a blend of the classic Rhone varieties of Marsanne & Roussanne, is a white wine with superlative body and texture but still exhibits honey and pear flavours which intensify with age.

All of our grapes are sourced from our own Malakoff Road vineyard, and the wine is made and bottled by ourselves on the property.   

Our vineyard, established in 2006, is 3km NW of Beechworth township and sits in a horseshoe bend of Graveyard Creek, with a ridge line at 400m above sea level, and gentle sloping faces to both the north and south. The north aspect is noticeably warmer and ideal for Shiraz, while the south is cooler, more protected and better suited to the Chardonnay, Roussanne and Marsanne plantings. The soil is the highly-regarded decomposed buckshot gravel over clay.

We bring a scientific approach to vineyard management, in that we observe and act where required and no more. We are extremely conservative with vineyard sprays using only the traditional Copper and Sulphur sprays to prevent mildew, and other simple chemicals only where absolutely necessary.

Vineyard planting is at 1000 vines per acre and we rigorously shoot and fruit thin to ensure that each vine is only carrying the crop it can ripen, and adjust these levels based on the weather each year. We are focused on long term vineyard health, and that includes biodiversity and caring for the soil, so we are essentially following organic principles, with a strong focus on composting and ploughing to open the soil to moisture and air penetration.

Our wine making philosophy is highly influenced by traditional French practices, including minimal intervention, clean healthy fruit, yeast from the vineyard, the best French oak that we can afford, long, slow maturation, minimal fining & filtering of the white wines and none for the reds.

Current release:

14 shiraz

2015 Vinelea Shiraz was produced from 100% estate-grown fruit, hand-picked, a blend of wild and cultured yeast for fermentation, basket-pressed and aged for 24 months in 40% new tight-grain French oak barrels, with no fining or filtering.

The result is a full-bodied Beechworth shiraz, with saturated purple to blood plum colour, with the aroma of blackberries, stewed plums, smoky bacon and spices. While this vintage is lighter bodied than the 2013 and 2014, it is still no light-weight, this is a serious wine without being too heavy or cloying. The flavours are of black cherries, blackberries and liqourice, in an extremely rich palate with robust mouthfeel and great length. A wine that will age well over the next 5 to 10 years. Under cork (Diam).

$32 from the winery.

 

15 Chard

2015 Vinelea Chardonnay - our first chardonnay to make the grade in the competitive field that is Beechworth chardonnay. As always, 100% estate fruit, hand picked, crushed and pressed in the cool of the morning, barrel fermented cool, lees stirred, 50% malo fermented, lightly fined and filtered, bottled under cork.

The resultant wine is a nice example of what our granite soil does with chardonnay, it is lean, has excellent body and depth, lemon/lime fruit flavours and that delicate touch of bitterness on the finish. This wine has great bones and will age nicely for 5 or more years.

$30 from the winery.

15 PB

2015 petit-blanc - This is also our first release of the Marsanne/Roussanne blend, and we've decided to call it 'petit-blanc' rather than the mouthful of its varietal names. The same picking and processing as the chardonnay was applied here, with the exception of tank fermentation then barrel aging.

The wine has real body for a white wine, a generous floral nose, strong acid backbone and great length. It's not a fruit driven wine, but has a mellowness and honeydew mid palate that really carries the wine, and makes it an absolute pleasure to drink.

$30 from the winery.

 

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Vinelea wines are available from the winery on 0427928511 or winery@vinelea.com.au

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Vinelea Wines, 333 Malakoff Rd, Beechworth 3747. p. 0427928511, e winery@vinelea.com.au

Liquor Lic. No 32608260