Another isolated block, this time 15 min inland from Port Campbell, the home of the famous 12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Rd. The vineyard was planted by the Newtons in 1998 to 10 acres of Pinot Noir MV6 clone, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Meunier and a little Shiraz. Soils are brown clay loams over limestone, and rainfall is high, eliminating the need for irrigation. This is a very cold site, Northeast facing and needs intense management to ripen adequately, so leaf removal and crop-thinning are necessary, but it is beginning to produce impressive Pinot Noir fruit with delicacy and perfume, and a caclaire quality not often seen in Aussie Pinot.
Again, a small block isolated from others, this time planted on the banks of the Merri River outside Warrnambool, the most easterly part of the Henty region. It was planted in 1998 by the Rafferty family, to MV6 and 115 clones of PInot Noir, P58 Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, a little riesling and some Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyard is influenced by two major features â€“ the sea, which is within 2km or so and the retreat of which revealed the sands and shells that compose the subsiols of the vineyard, and the the Tower Hill volcano a few kilometers west, which dusted the area with black, friable, ashen topsoils. Even, cool ripening conditions and modest crops make for earthy, powerful Pinots, and as of 2012 we have made some lovely wine from the site.