Balgownie Estate’s Bendigo vineyard was originally planted by local pharmacist Stuart Anderson in 1969. The initial plantings consisted of five acres each of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz and these varieties are still the mainstay of the vineyard today.
In 1971 a further 5 acres of Cabernet Sauvigonon was planted, along with the inital plantings of Chardonnay; inspired by Dr Max Lake who planted Lake’s Folly in the Hunter Valley and who pioneered these two classic varieties.
Since then there have been further plantings at Bendigo of Merlot, Viognier and Sangiovese – a variety which is well suited to the dry climate of the area and has produced a number of classic and sought after vintages since its first release.
The vineyard is planted on alluvial clay soils that are low in fertility but provide good moisture retention. These soils naturally limit yields and produce grapes with depth and intensity. The Bendigo climate is characterised by its continentality with warm summers and cold winters. The warm days and cool nights during the ripening period are ideal for producing intense and age-worthy red wines.
At Balgownie Estate we subscribe to the philosophy that wine quality is made in the vineyard. Our vineyard management aims to achieve a balance between vegetative growth and moderate yields. We believe healthy vines produce healthy vibrant fruit and that the finished wine should demonstrate the character of the well chosen site and the vintage.