As often happens, the establishment date for a wine producer can mean many things. In this instance it harks back to the planting of the vineyard by the Ayton family and the establishment of what was thereafter called St Neots. Juliet and Paul Staindl acquired the property in 2002 and have extended the plantings to 2.6ha of pinot noir, 0.4ha of chardonnay and 0.1ha of riesling; the vineyard is run biodynamically.
Paul and Juliet Staindl started looking at and thinking seriously about pinot noir in Australia in the 1980s. It needed to be cool climate. It needed to be maritime influenced. It needed to be easterly and/or northerly facing. It needed to be a special spot.
Our site near the top of the Red Hill ridge with its east – north east aspect, provides an ideal growing site for the vines. They have the benefit of waking up with the eastern sun warming their leaves and then the opportunity of enjoying the day view out to Phillip Island across Western Port Bay. Being on the easterly side of the ridge, they avoid the worst excesses of the hot western sun as it fades for the day during the long warm days of summer. The soils are composed of classic Red Hill deep chocolate brown earth with iron buckshot through it. This composition provides the bones to the wines with a little iron in the skeleton. The altitude provides the long cool evenings to lengthen the ripening. Long slow ripening allows the fruit to build flavours which provides the fine perfume, delicate red fruit, and the length on the palate which we all look for.
We embarked on a biodynamic regime which over the past few years has seen a wonderful improvement in the humus and composition of the soil structure as well as a returning balance to the vines.
The depth of flavour in the fruit they provide has been even further enhanced by the natural approach to the viticulture.
The wines are made with minimal intervention. We seek to have them truly represent what the vintage seasonal conditions provide us and thus, there will be variation from year to year
We hope you enjoy a bottle of our wine as much as we enjoy making it.
Rollo Crittenden (Contract)
63 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South, Vic 3937 (postal)
0419 553 299