Rocky Passes is a
specialising in northern Rhône varieties: Syrah (Shiraz) and
Viognier. It sits at the southern end of Victoria’s
Ranges in the Upper Goulburn Valley winegrowing region.
border between the Upper Goulburn and Goulburn Valley regions passes
through our property, and the border of the Strathbogie region is about
100 metres away, just over the road.
We are in a very unique
position and often refer to our property as “the corner block”.
The Rocky Passes vineyard is at 300 metres above sea level on a
gentle north east facing slope. It has clay loam soil over
buckshot and is at the edge of an mudstone-granite ridge. We
have no salinity problems, although north-west of our property does.
small, we are able to treat our vineyard and wine with extra
care. We have used minimal irrigation to establish the
and, although not certified yet, we use organic practices and
preparations to produce unique quality wines. We crop at
2 tons per acre to optimise ripening and flavour, and we prune and pick
by hand. Our main preventative against fungal disease is careful canopy
management to allow airflow.
All of the vines are on root
stock … good insurance against phylloxera which is in vineyards north
and south of Whiteheads Creek. The Syrah (Shiraz) clone is
on Paulsen root stock; and the Viognier is 1103 on Paulsen
rootstock. The rootstock was chosen for drought tolerance.
The Mean January
Temperature [MJT] is 21.1 degrees; Heat Degree Days
[HDD] is 1510 degrees; average 600mm average rainfall.