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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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.
In a gorgeous piece of serendipity Paul Bridgeman and Yarra Yering were born in the same year and the same valley. They both grew up in the Yarra Valley and as Yarra Yering celebrated its 21st year with a cracking 1991 vintage, Bridgey celebrated his coming of age by graduating with an Associate Diploma in Farm management from Melbourne University’s Glenormiston campus in Victoria’s Western Districts.
Using an 18 month winery internship in Washington State USA as an excuse to try to infiltrate the flourishing grunge music scene across the mountain pass in Seattle, the wannabe rock ‘n roll star found his true calling. In the ensuing years he worked 14 Yarra Valley vintages plus numerous others throughout Australia and overseas including Washington State, Gascony, McLaren Vale, Hunter Valley and the King Valley, culminating in the 2006 vintage at the revered Domaine Jean Louise Chave in Hermitage in Frances Rhone Valley. Also during these years he completed by correspondence his Bachelor of Applied Science, wine Science at Charles Sturt University.
The young tyro was appointed winemaker at Yarra Yering after a series of rigorous interviews with Dr Bailey Carrodus and some blind tastings that established the precision of the Bridgeman palate.
A series of meetings every second Tuesday over olives and fino sherry served to pass on the vision and when he was comfortable Carrodus handed over.
Paul Bridgeman seeks to continue the evolution of this iconic vineyard allowing each individual part of it to find and express its own voice and individuality. The aim is to produce wines of purity, structure, elegance and finesse, befitting the pedigree that has placed Yarra Yering in the very top echelon of Australian wine producers.
He still occasionally scratches the rock ‘n roll itch via a band made up of his local wine industry peers, “The Yeastie Boys”