A snapshot of our region - the Strathbogie Ranges:
- 100 kilometres North of Melbourne.
- Yarra Valley to our south, Goulburn Valley to our north, Heathcote to our east
- Strathbogie is a mountain range – a massif. A huge granite peninsula pushed up out of the ocean, by volcanic forces, 360 million years ago
- Before that, it was forming under the ocean as Gondwanaland eroded – a kilometres thick layer of compressed sedimentary rock
- After it was pushed up out of the ocean, it has steadily eroded into the Goulburn Valley, leaving behind the characteristic granite boulders which contribute to our terroir
- First recognized as a region (GI) in 2001
- Pioneering vineyards planted in late 1960’s. First commercial vineyard planted in 1976 by Dr Peter Tisdall.
A bit more information about the region and our vineyards:
Fowles Wine own and manage 360 acres of vines across two vineyards called Upton Run and Billi’s in the Strathbogie Ranges.
The rugged and beautiful Strathbogie Ranges are located an hour and a half drive north east of Melbourne. It is here, in vineyards peppered with massive ancient granite boulders, at elevations between 430 and 550 metres above sea level that the vines from which we source Strathbogie fruit grow.
The soils in our family vineyards (Upton Run and Billi's) are comprised of decomposed granite – interdispersed with massive granite outcrops. Technically speaking, the soil is sandy clay loam overlying granite and Callabonna clay bedrock - the soils are remarkably even across our vineyards. Ancient, nutrient poor and free-draining, these soils are great for grapes because the vines put their energy into fruit development (its means of survival), rather than canopy.
The climate in the Strathbogie Ranges is cool with a January mean temperature of 19.5ºC. In fact, in winter it's been known to snow! However, an almost constant wind whistles through the vines up here ensuring good air circulation in the grapes, reducing the risk of frost damage in early spring and mildew in summer. The location of the Strathbogie Ranges, north of Great Dividing range, means we experience strong diurnal weather patterns – warm days, cool nights. These conditions allow our fruit to gradually ripen over a longer period of time accumulating the right balance of sugars and acid whilst building intense flavour and colour. The lower rainfall (average annual rainfall is 700mm) and quick draining soils mean our vines have dry feet (vines don’t like their roots constantly soaked) and as a result produce low yielding, flavourful fruit.
The topography of our family vineyards is undulating meaning our vines experience different micro climates and sunlight exposure; all of which can affect the character of the fruit. So although our soils are even, the diversity of aspect and mircoclimate in our vineyard blocks allows us to pick across a spectrum of ripeness and flavour profiles to craft interesting blends.
Fowles Wine has a wide variety of plantings including: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Arneis, Vermentino, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Merlot, Shiraz, Mouvedre and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The style and character of Fowles Wine reflects our cool climate home. Our white wines have great fruit intensity, minerality and are light and fresh. Our red wines are highly perfumed, intensely coloured and powerful, yet restrained and elegant.