Mike Fitzpatrick acquired a taste for fine wine while a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University in the 1970s. Returning to Australia he guided Carlton Football Club to two premierships as captain, then established Melbourne-based finance company Squitchy Lane Holdings. The wines of Mount Mary inspired him to look for his own vineyard, and in '96 he found a vineyard of sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot noir, merlot, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon, planted in '82, just around the corner from Coldstream Hills and Yarra Yering.
At Squitchy Lane, we work hard in the vineyard to make sure our winemaker doesn’t have to work hard in the winery. If the grapes aren’t right, no amount of winemaking attention can fix them.
That’s as close as we come to a winemaking philosophy. We’d prefer not to be boxed in by philosophies which are often dogma by another name.
So we let our grapes do the talking. This means reducing winery additives but gentle and continual “massaging” of the wines since we believe there is a substantial difference between physical and chemical inputs.
The end result is a group of wines that are balanced, harmonious and graceful. We strive for full flavour development at low alcohol levels so the wines can refresh as well as sustain the soul.