The Macedon Ranges Wine Region has been shown scientifically to be the “coolest wine region on mainland Australia”. The major climatic influence is the Great Dividing Range across the region with elevations up to 1010 metres above sea level. Midhill Vineyard is located at 540m on northerly facing site near Romsey, east of Mount Macedon.
The red volcanic soils of our site are slightly acidic, well drained and excellent for vine health. In winter, frosts are common and light snow sometimes occurs. During the ripening season the site is subject to summer heat from the north winds, but being on the Great Dividing Range, cool nights often occur promoting retention of flavours, tannin and natural fruit acidity in the berries. The resulting wines have a good natural balance and the wine is made requiring minimal intervention.
The Richards family planted Chardonnay at Midhill in 1993, and Gewürztraminer and Pinot Noir in 2001. 6.5 acres of vines now produce 2.5 to 3 tons per acre of fruit. Our aim is to through careful viticulture produce premium grapes allowing creation of wines that are bright, fresh flavoured and express the high altitude and cool climate of our site.
The planting of our Gewürztraminer was quite a serendipitous event.
In the first planting (1993), it was discovered that some vines were not Chardonnay. The berries are a pinky-brown colour with an amazing flavour, popular with both pickers and birds. They ripened a little earlier than the Chardonnay and were identified as Gewürztraminer, clone unknown.
‘Gewürz’ is a German word for spicy. Traminer possibly originated in Northern Italy and is grown in Alsace, Germany, Switzerland. Research shows that this variety gives the best flavour and aromas when grown in cold areas on well drained, acidic soils of volcanic origin. The Midhill vineyard site is just that.
800 vines have now been propagated from cuttings of the original 36 vines. Gewürztraminer lovers seek out this aromatic wine which is fermented dry.
Midhill Gewürztraminer has the classic flavours of Turkish delight and musk, with floral spice and rose petal aromas. It has a dry, lively crisp finish.
The Midhill vineyard site is cool, windy and elevated, and is also especially good for Sparkling Wine production. Our Blanc de Blancs is a premium example of Sparkling Macedon. It has won gold medals and trophies winner over several vintages.
Midhill farm is also the home of a herd of grass-fed Angus cattle which together with sheep, graze in the vineyard in winter to control weeds and return natural nutrients to the soil. A program is underway to improve soil biology using natural products to improve vine and pasture health and drought resistance. Cell grazing the cattle over the property aims to control growth of annual weeds and create deep rooted permanent pasture that is more resilient to dry times. Four varieties of Dung beetle are established on the property and are active most of the year, recycling nutrients deep in the soil.