Yarra Yering Vineyards. 4 Briarty Road Gruyere Victoria Australia 3770.
Tel: + 61 (3) 5964 9267 Fax: + 61 (3) 5964 9239 | Email: email@example.com | ABN :89 137 514 222
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All pen and ink drawings copyright Julie Jame
Wine was grown in Victoria's Yarra Valley from the mid 1800's through to the 1920’s and was a principal export of the new colony. The industry was halted in the 1920’s by the economics of the day, changing tastes and the high price of wool.
It would need a visionary to re-establish winemaking in the Yarra Valley and in 1969 one came along. Dr Bailey Carrodus was ideally qualified to become a great vigneron. A degree in botany, another in winemaking and a doctorate earned at Oxford for research into plant physiology, combined with a passion for great wine, a love of food and art, and a fiercely independent mind equipped him well.
In 1969 after a long search for the perfect site Dr Carrodus planted 12 hectares of vines at the foot of the Warramate Hills.
The gentle slope with its northerly aspect and deep grey silty loam shot through with bands of gravel fulfilled all of his requirements. Good drainage, all day exposure to the warm sun, and enough elevation from the valley floor to avoid the spring frosts. He named his vineyard Yarra Yering and in 1973 produced his first vintage of Dry Red Wine No’s 1 & 2.
Yarra Yering quickly gained an international reputation for quality and individuality and for the next 35 years Dr Carrodus made his wines to great critical and commercial success.
Great wine is made in the vineyard. The vines at YY are grown without irrigation, and this combined with judicious mid row cultivation has driven their roots deep into the gravelly soil.
The yield is consequently low, 1-2 tons per acre, resulting in fruit with great intensity and concentration of flavour, and with an abundance of natural acidity. This is the rock on which YY wines are made. The rows of vines are planted three metres apart but in row vine spacings vary across the vineyard depending on grape variety and suitability to soil type.. The vines are carefully hand pruned in winter by the permanent vineyard staff to a Carrodus devised modification of the Guyot system, cane and spur. Interference with the soils is minimal, the vines are a conduit for expressing the terroir of this unique vineyard in the resultant wines.
As the vineyard has grown in size from the original 30 acre block to the current 70 acres new varieties have been planted to supplement the traditional cabernet, pinot, shiraz etc. A steep west facing hillside purchased in the 90’s was terraced and planted with Portuguese varieties to take advantage of the hot afternoon sun. A little further around the same slope where it kicked to the north nebbiolo and barbera have been planted after sangiovese proved unsuitable. An East facing slope below these varieties is planted to merlot and spots were found for Carmeniere, Mouvedre and Petit Verdot. Yarra Yering has not stood still, the endeavor to produce better wines is pursued constantly in the vineyard.
Attention to detail in the vineyard and in the winery is enhanced by small batch fermentation in custom-designed half-tonne, stainless steel-lined wooden fermenters, and maturation in small French oak barrels.
Selection for quality is carried out at every step of the making and maturation process with the culling of any material not considered up to the mark. Faithful expression of the vineyard is of paramount importance. This is enhanced by limiting extraneous additions to the wines. A single selected yeast strain covers all varieties. The wines are never acidified and, as such, are inherently balanced, precise and unforced. They are medium-bodied, perfumed and complex, elegant yet powerful. No filtration is undertaken on any Yarra Yering wines. While approachable as young wines, they have the ability to develop gracefully in the bottle for many years.
The wine styles are individual and do not seek to pander to current fads or trends, but stick to what the vineyard has proven to do well.
In his later years Dr Carrodus sought to ensure the continuation of the tenets and techniques he had developed by instilling his particular viticultural and winemaking principles in his successors. In 2008 he installed Paul Bridgeman in the winemaking role to take Yarra Yering through its next chapter.
Dr Carrodus died at home at Yarra Yering in Sept. 2008 but the vineyard he pioneered and the winery he built continue to make great wine.
Sarah began her wine industry career in 2001 when she joined Brokenwood in the Hunter Valley initially working in the vineyard. Beginning a Bachelor of Applied Science in Viticulture in 2002 she also completed her first harvest in the winery where her future would be. After working her way to Assistant Winemaker in 2004, Sarah began to oversee the processing of Brokenwood’s Victorian fruit from the Beechworth region.
Sarah started exploring the world of wine via international harvests working in Oregon in 2004 and 2006 focusing mainly on Pinot noir and Chardonnay at Adelsheim Vineyard and Ponzi Family Vineyards, and the Rhone Valley in 2008 working at Paul Jaboulet Aine working with Viognier and Shiraz.
In May 2009, Sarah was the recipient of the Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association’s Hunter Legends “Rising Star of the Year” Award. This award instigated a new job opportunity with Swish Wine where Sarah was at the helm as Chief Winemaker constructing a new winery for the young company.
In September 2010, Sarah joined the team at Bimbadgen, to the position of Senior Winemaker. Here Sarah enjoyed making many varieties from across Australia’s premium grape growing regions in a range of wine styles from sparkling to table wine and botrytis and fortified wines. Throughout 2010 Sarah took part in the Future Leaders of the Wine Industry Program as well as being accepted as one of only twelve people into the prestigious Len Evans Tutorial Program.
Wine Show judging is an integral part of Sarah’s calendar year with up to five wine shows judged to expand her palate and knowledge of industry trends.
Sarah joined the team at Yarra Yering in September 2013 as Winemaker and is excited to be focusing on a single iconic vineyard site and giving the individual blocks and varieties the time and attention they deserve. She will continue the tradition that Dr BB Carrodus started in 1969 with the first vineyard plantings at Yarra Yering