HEATHCOTE RIDGE ESTATE
NATIONAL VINEYARD FUND OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED
The Heathcote Ridge Estate vineyard is located on the northern end of the Heathcote wine region (Geographical Indication) approximately 4 km west of Corop and 56 km north of the Heathcote township.
The 127.9 ha property is located on a ridge which gently slopes down to the plains around Green Lake. It straddles both sides of Bonn School Road, Corop. At the high point, it is approximately 260 m above sea level and drops to around 160 m. It averages approximately 185 m above sea level.
It sits on a ridge overlooking two lakes, Greens Lake and Lake Cooper, and the Waranga Western Channel (an irrigation canal operated seasonally from October to April to secure water for the farming community).
The virgin vineyard was planted from 2007 to 2010 on a property that was traditionally a broad acre farm used for cereal cropping and sheep farming. The original shearing sheds dating back to the early 1900’s still exist on the property. New offices and sheds have been rebuilt after a fire in 2014, to operate the management and operations for the property.
Two sections of the vineyard land are separated by Bonn School Road.
A pipeline from the channel to connect the property was built by HRVL in 2007 and links to a 17 ML dam on-site. This is the main water source for the vineyards and is reticulated by a sophisticated irrigation system from the dam to the entire property.
The land does not have either running or ground water so it is supplemented with water from a pipeline running 4 km from the Waranga Western Channel. Irrigation is discussed in the Water section below.
The vineyard is planted with a mix of 7 red varieties (Shiraz being dominant with Grenache, Merlot, Tempranillo, Pinot Noir and Montepulciano) and 2 white varieties (Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris). Semillon planted on the vineyard in 2006 at the request of Pernot Ricard Winemakers (Orlando) was removed in 2012 and is being progressively replanted.
The key variety of Shiraz is the most desired variety for the region. Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc are white varieties in demand.
The current mix of wine grape varieties planted on Heathcote Ridge Estate were chosen by FABAL Operations in conjunction with the major purchaser of grapes from the property, Pernod Ricard.
The current layout of the entire property and its vineyard is shown below.