We have built fantastic relationships with several growers in the Heathcote wine region, in particular from the subregions of Toolleen and Colbinabbin, over the past twenty years. From these growers we source fruit of outstanding quality for our Pinga wine label and, when the fruit is truly exceptional, also source Shiraz for our limited release Pondalowie Reserve Heathcote Shiraz. The 2015 Reserve Heathcote Shiraz was rated 96 points by James Halliday and its predecessor, the 2013 vintage, was rated 95 points highlighting the quality achieved by these growers in this iconic region.
In the mid-90’s Dominic was so inspired by his time working vintage in Burgundy he made a promise that one day he would try to replicate the style of wines and familial atmosphere of a French wine harvest on a property of his own. The dream never diminished and, as I shared his vision, we made the brave decision to begin ‘stage two’ of our Pondalowie dream whilst our children were still young enough to benefit from growing up on a holistic farm environment, but old enough to allow us to juggle the management of three vineyard properties located in two very different environments.
A year-long search lead us to Bambra, in the Otways region near Geelong, where a 100-acre property was purchased in 2016. It offered ideal conditions for growing cool-climate wines – a sunny north-facing site, cooled by sea breezes from nearby Bass Strait in the evening and sheltered to the West by majestic gum and cypress trees. At 220 metres above sea level and with reliable Otways rainfall, we are excited for the future from this glorious site.
The new vineyard was planted in 2019 - 2020 using 4 clones of Pinot Noir. Approximately 70% of the vineyard was planted to the ever dependable MV6 clone, widely regarded as the best standalone clone. It arrived in Australia from Clos Vougeot in 1831 with James Busby, the father of Australian viticulture. The remaining 30% is split between the Pommard clone (D4V2), known for its complexity, clone 115 and the new and exciting Abel clone, arriving in Australia via New Zealand from the Legendary Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.
At Bambra, our winery and cellar door is open to the public over Summer and some Public holidays. Being nestled in the beautiful Otway ranges, within an hour and half from Melbourne and on the hinterland route to the Great Ocean Road, it's ideally located for those visiting the Surf Coast or Otways regions.
We look forward to sharing this chapter of our story with you soon.