GIACONDA Nantua Les Deux Chardonnay, Beechworth
For Wine Front's Campbell Mattinson this is 'Baby Giaconda'. For Kinzbrunner: 'Powerful, rich — and certain to please those looking for full-flavoured Chardonnay.' 95% Chardonnay, 5% Roussanne.
Located in the foothills of the Victorian Alps, Beechworth is a small cool climate region with high continentality. The vineyards enjoy a large number of sunshine hours and are generally planted at altitudes of 400m. A variety of soil types are found with the two dominant ones being ancient sandstone gravel and clay and granitic loams over decomposed gravels and clays. While north or north-easterly slopes are generally favoured, the best sites are located away from higher altitude, cold-air drainage channels, with the risk of frost high in both spring and autumn. Restricted water availability means most vineyards are dry-grown. A region of small boutique producers, Beechworth is best known for premium Chardonnay, Shiraz and Pinot Noir, although plantings of Italian varieties including Sangiovese and Nebbiolo also show great promise.