One hectare of Monastrell was planted in 2004 with cuttings sourced from the Wendouree vineyard in the Clare valley.
Alberto Antonini felt that Heathcote was ideally suited to Monastrell. He felt the style of wine produced would have the ripeness displayed by this variety in the south of Spain, rather than that it produces when planted (as Mourvedre) in the south of France.
The vines are spur pruned, as they are in the south of Spain.
- In 2006, we made a Monastrell and blended it with our Shiraz.
- In 2007, we used less Monastrell in the blend, so decided to bottle a small amount as a varietal.
- In 2008, the Shiraz and Sangiovese were picked before the hot spell in March but Monastrell, a late ripener, was affected by the heat so we sold it off in bulk.
In 2009, we felt it would make a better Rose than red wine.
The grapes were machine picked and transported to the Kooyong winery in Mornington where they were tipped directly into the press.
Juice was settled then run to used barriques where it was fermented using indigenous yeasts, as in Bandol in the south of France.
The wine was fermented to full dryness and blended and bottled in the September following the harvest.
20 hectares of Shiraz, Sangiovese, Colorino and Monastrell planted on the old red Cambrian soils in Colbinabbin.
Vineyard is planted to a density of 4,545 vines per hectare to reduce vigour, and ensure low crop of intensely flavoured grapes per vine.
Row orientation is east-west in order to protect the vines from the hot summer sun, and to prevent sun burn and preserve vibrant flavours in the grapes.
We've planted grass between the rows in order to reduce vigour, add organic matter and improve the soil environment for vine root activity.
Rootstocks are 101-14, a low vigour variety.