We believe the Pyrenees is the best place in Australia to make wines. The climate is warm enough to provide concentration and power, yet cool enough to impart vibrancy and elegance, and the resulting wines are truly remarkable.
Our vineyards receive ample amounts of sunshine, ensuring our grapes ripen to full maturity. The heat is moderated by altitude (400m above sea level), while the southerly winds allow us to avoid the temperature extremes often associated with continental climates. Both the surrounding mountains and the undulating nature of our estate facilitates the movement of cool air, which travels down the slopes and prevents the kind of frost devastation afflicting so many other Victorian vineyards.
You'll find a diverse range of soils across the Blue Pyrenees, resulting in wines with a complex array of flavours. The gravel beds on the valley floor no doubt reminded our French founders of Bordeaux and the south of France, so these are best suited – unsurprisingly – to our Bordeaux and Rhône varietals. Both vine vigour and yields are moderate, with both factors contributing to the quality and strength of the red wines.
The grapes used as our sparkling base, on the other hand, are grown on a well-draining site with sandstone at depth and reddish-brown, sandy loam over a sandy, clay loam subsoil. This good drainage, paired with an excellent east-facing aspect, provides the ideal environment for our award-winning sparkling wines.
"WE ARE NOT GROWING TOMATOES"
Vincent Gere, Chief Winemaker 1987 - 1996
We believe that all wines should show varietal fruit characters and highlight the flavours of the specific site and region in which they're grown.
Blue Pyrenees Estate was among the modern Australian wine industry’s first ventures into cool-climate viticulture. The Pyrenees region is only marginally warmer than Coonawarra, which has always been a key reference for cool-climate viticulture, meaning we're in a great position – through both experience and geographical location – to produce top-tier wines.
Our estate's beautiful lake, which was formed accidentally during the Gold Rush, provides a supplementary water resource that's particularly valuable during dry vintages; however, our vines receive minimal irrigation and some are dry-grown, keeping with the philosophy of Vincent Gere – our former chief winemaker – who once quipped, 'We are not growing tomatoes.'
The Pyrenees region tends to enjoy rain through winter and early spring, giving way to a dry summer as vintage occurs, making the Pyrenees a grape-grower's paradise.
Explorer Thomas Mitchell was the first European to be recorded as travelling through this district, naming it Pyrenees as it reminded him of the Pyrenees Mountains in Europe.
The first vines were planted in the Avoca area in 1848 by a man named MacKereth. His 100,000 litre winery was able to support each of the three wine shops in the thriving town of Avoca, though he eventually sold his wine-related assets to a clergyman who promptly uprooted the vines, shut the winery and destroyed the cellars. This was the undeserved death of the Pyrenees district until Château Remy – now Blue Pyrenees Estate – replanted vines in 1963.