The first ten years of operation was a rolling battle to carve out a piece of Beechworth amidst bushfires and severe drought. Established in 2000, the winemakers at the aptly named Fighting Gully Road never gave up and have won out. The wines they produce are today among the best value to be found in the region.
This Beechworth Shiraz shows classic cool-climate characteristics of red fruit and white pepper. Fermentation is part whole bunch (about a third) and part crushed/destemmed (about two thirds) and very small portion of Viognier skins. The result is a bright, fresh medium-bodied Shiraz that will develop well over a decade.
Uses 35% whole bunches on the bottom of the fermenter, 2% Viognier skins on top of the whole bunches, then 63% crushed/destemmed on top, left alone to ferment naturally until 2% baume left, then pigeaged, three weeks on skins in total, matured in new and used French oak for 18 months. This approach, coupled with 13.5% alcohol, results in a vibrantly fresh, fragrant and lively wine bursting with cherry fruit, spice and pepper. Now the journey in the bottle begins.
96 points, Wine Companion, Sept 2017
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.