Curly Flat in James Halliday’s ‘Wineries of the Month’

As there are so many great cellar doors to visit these days, to make it a little easier, each month James Halliday suggests one of his top 5 star rated wineries from each state that he thinks is really worth making the effort to visit, and of course taste!

Link to JH website: http://www.winecompanion.com.au/wineries/wineries-of-the-month

VH & Winery

Our Winery and Cellar Door

We’re happy to say that our winery has been nominated as this months must see Victorian winery, and like everything we set out to do we pride ourselves on delivering not only great wines to taste, but a special Cellar Door experience to match.

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Cellar Door Entrance

With our cellar door we like to think we provide an experience that is reflective our wines; unique and individual.  Rather than have dedicated ‘cellar door’ staff you will be greeted by people who work hands on with the wines that you will taste.  While we all talk on a similar thread about the vintage conditions behind the wines,  each of us infuse personal anecdotes giving even deeper insights into wine growing that a ‘usual’ cellar door experience wouldn’t allow.  Where we can, we’ll also give you a tour of winery and talk in greater detail about our philosophy and how we go about things.

Home for our cellar door is found in the refurbished 1880’s homestead, that we call Vintage Hall which has it’s own blend of style and relaxed charm.  Being a great space, we also have several food and wine events throughout the year where great chefs such as Andrew McConnell transform Vintage Hall into their restaurant for a day, while we provide Curly Flat wines young and old.  We only inform our mailing list customers of this, so if your not on the list, come up and see us or join online.

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Inside Vintage Hall at Curly Flat

The Macedon Ranges is also one the best kept secrets in wine and we of course are not the only cellar door going.  We also recommend visiting Granite Hills, Paramoor, Cobaw Ridge but to name a few. You can easily spend the day up here visiting cellar doors and theres exceptional food to be found in the bustling Piper Street in Kyneton where many providores will tempt you with their differing fare.  For something different you can also go over to the Holgates microbrewery in Woodend and enjoy a tasting paddle with food also available.  They are many, many ways to spend your day!

Curly Flat Cellar Door is open every weekend 12-5pm and by appointment during the week.  During the week just call ahead so we can ensure someone is available to meet you.  Also groups larger than 6, especially any bus group, call ahead to be sure we can look after you.  For all cellar door enquiries please call us on 03 5429 1956 in office hours.  We look forward to your visit!  For more details please visit our Cellar Door page.

Shortest day turns out to be the coldest! (so far)

We’ve had some good frosts this week at Curly Flat culminating in the hardest this morning where it got down to -5, poetically coinciding with the winter solstice.  Here are some photos from around the vineyard this morning that highlight we’re one of the coolest viticultural regions in Australia.

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Curly Flat’s Vintage Hall (our cellar door) sees the ‘cold’ light of day

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Frost hairs on the lyre trellis

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um, that’s cold!

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Frozen spider webbing

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Watch your step!

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Lyre, Lyre, certainly not on fire!

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Formerly known as grass

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Three years work in one month!

Over the last month a lot has happened as events involving three separate vintages simultaneously converged in that time.  Firstly we had our barrel declassification of the 2012 vintage where we decide which barrels are ready to bottle (for Williams Crossing) and which go on to become Curly Flat and remain in barrel for the next 9 months.  Classically speaking, the more you do something the easier it should become.  But with our barrel declassification it seems we are destined to walk a different path as the each year the overall quality improves gradually, making the decision of where to draw the line harder to make.  We aren’t complaining about it, and of course the opposite to that is true.  We are here to make the best wine we possibly can and we’re more than comfortable with this ‘predicament’.

From here we then also bottled our 2011 Curly Flat Pinot Noir and the 2011 ‘The Curly’ Pinot Noir.  It took us two full days to bottle this sublime vintage from one of our most challenging but also equally rewarding vintages to date.  A highly aromatic release bursting with berry cherry nose which is tensioned with savoury autumnal leaves and exotic spice that merge to create a palate of buoyant gravity.  You can’t have good Pinot Noir without at least facing one oxymoron!  As for the 2011 ‘The Curly’ Pinot Noir, we’ll reveal more on that over the months ahead…

For the final of our 3 years to justify the title of this blog, we are now harvesting our 2013 vintage where the cycle begins.  Well the cycle really begins back in September when the buds first break to herald the new vintage.  Or does it begin when the potential flowers are set for this vintage, two years ago?   Either way harvest 2013 is now underway and forgiving the above passages, it is my intention not to waffle on (for a change) but rather let photos do the talking!   We will talk more on the nature of the 2013 vintage over time and of course it is like any other year in that it is unlike any other…

VINTAGE 2013 – An Endless Summer

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This may be one of the defining photos of the 2013 vintage. The verdant canopy belies the fact that this photo was only taken yesterday (22/3/13).  Whilst Autumn is in the air, it’s most certainly not in the vineyard as the green spinnaker is out at full, guiding this vintage home.

GETTING READY

Fruit picking snips are clean and ready to go!

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A battalion of picking buckets awaiting further orders

One of our French interns, Louis, cleans up our fruit bins to be ready for fruit

VINEYARD SAMPLING

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Vineyard samples for testing. From our three varieties, we perform up to 26 separate tests (so far) determined by the variety, it’s clone and its specific location

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Hydrometry testing determines sugar levels, but sugar is only part of the ‘ripeness’ puzzle..

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Here we are testing the TA (Titratable Acidity) which gives an overall summation of the total combinant acids in the juice. This and the pH take equal importance to sugar. To determine ripeness by sugar alone can leave a wines potential akin to being a luxury yacht without either a rudder or sail. It may look good, but where’s it headed?!

IN THE VINEYARD

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Grape eats Leaf! Caught on film! 22/3/13

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Chardonnay merges with sunlight, showing aesthetics and function can be in the one package.  22/3/13

MORE TO COME! 

  • A day in the life in the vineyard at harvest.
  • Follow Pinot Noir, Chardonnay & Pinot Gris from the vineyard to the winery.