Australia’s smallest wine GI: Fighting Gully Road winery
Located in Australia’s smallest wine GI, Fighting Gully Road vineyard is found on old Ordovician shale slopes leading up to an escarpment, which falls over 300m from the back of the vineyard. The exposed vineyards produce structured red and powerful white wines; that is made in the old State Lunatic asylum, in Mayday Hills, Beechworth.
The oldest vineyards in the region
The first vines were planted at the Fighting Gully Road winery site in 1997 was Cabernet Sauvignon and a small plot of Merlot, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Colorino, Petit Manseng, and Aglianico. In 2009 the opportunity arose to lease the Smith vineyard, located only a few minutes away from the Fighting Gully Road winery. This small vineyard was planted to Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon in 1978, making it the oldest vineyard in the region.
Winemaking in respect of mother nature
The vineyard of the winery is characterised by prevailing winds from the north-west. During the growing season these breezes have lower levels of humidity and ensure that the vines have restrained vegetative growth and remain disease- free. Days are cool but the slopes surrounding the vineyard ensure cold night air drains away, so only the very lowest reaches of the vineyard are susceptible to spring frost.
At Fighting Gully Road, they undertake a sustainable approach to grape production. Insecticides are not used, and herbicide use is kept to a minimum.
Machinery operations are kept to a minimum to reduce soil compaction and minimise fossil fuel uses
The red wines are made using minimal intervention, using indigenous yeasts and open fermentation. Whites are barrel fermented using both indigenous and cultured yeasts depending on variety and style.