How picturesque is the Huon Valley?? Exquisite to say the least! Reminiscent of a fairy tale landscape, the reason why so many people fall in love with the Huon region. The hills roll on forever, the grass is a deeper shade of green, thicker and longer. The trees are that much taller and more majestic. There are ponds and dams everywhere you look and in the late afternoon, the water glistens in the sun. The air is full of moisture and particles dance through the air in the haze of summer. In winter the Huon River flows at around 9000ml/day producing a strong current almost bursting its banks. In summer, the gorgeous, clean, fresh water still flows at an astonishing rate. Anything and everything is happily growing in the Huon Valley.
Nestled in the little village of Cradoc is the Lucille vineyard. Here is where 9 hectares of pinot noir and one hectare of chardonnay fruit are grown. Originally planted on sloping ground with a north south orientation in 1973 by Steve Ferenze. The land at the edge of the vineyard continues for about another 500 metres until it hits ‘California bay’ an inlet of the Huon River.
The composition of the soil is grey clay; containing oblong riverbed stones mostly the size of quail’s eggs and slightly larger, covered by sandy loam topsoil. This site’s soil is much poorer than the surrounding plots that are mainly planted to apples.
The soil’s hard crust forces the vines to struggle, developing slow growth and tough foliage. The vineyard is mostly dry grown with 1-2 irrigations per year. The skins of the berries are tough and the berries are small. Small berries produce juice that is highly concentrated due to the skin to juice ratio.
The winery and vineyard have recently been renovated and the vineyard is now producing extremely high quality fruit at very low yields. In 2018 Steve decided to make a Huon Valley Estate Pinot Noir from this fruit as it too has the depth and quality that is produced at our Granton vineyard in the Derwent Valley.
The 2018 Estate Pinot Noir Huon Valley is a wine that is starting to emerge from its cocoon. The colour is deep crimson, very much like black cherry juice, and the nose is very elegant, floral and sweet. The palate offers more of the same with vanilla, bright cherry and spice. The tannins are plentiful but balanced. They are long and lean but dry, balancing the abundance of sweet cherries.
This wine will cellar well for many years to come. It is only now, after 2 years in the bottle, that it’s shy but impressive personality has appeared. Enjoy this wine for years to come. Hopefully it will be one of the wines that will cement Tasmania’s reputation as Australia’s most highly prized and celebrated Pinot Noir Capital.