It started off as a simple rams paddock. By 1903 a great snowfall happened and it killed most of the stock. By the seventies the first vines were trialled and planted. But, the rabbits and the sheep got to them. Drunks!
So what happened next. We catch with the guy from Mount Rosa wines to find out the full story.
So you going to lay that question on me again, I can’t remember what it was.
So when did you make the switch from wool to wine?
Probably the late 90s the writing was on the wall a little bit in terms of cashflow for fine wool. So the wine industry was starting to poke it’s head up around here. The neighbours across the road had planted, people down the road, Perergrine. So we though that we’d give it a try. It took us a couple of years to source plants and starting planting. The first vines went in November 2000. We went and tore some vines out from Felton Road that they didn’t want anymore – Sauvignon Blanc. The first wine that we produced we made 22 cases, I think it was, that was bottled in 2002 and it was truly awful.
So did you have any idea, any knowledge of how this industry worked and how to produce from grape to bottle kind of thing?
We probably learnt as we went rather than learning before we started. Not a classic way of getting into the wine industry but there would be a lot of people like us out there.
So its about 90 acres, or 35-36 hectares of plants. We got two trellising systems. So this one here you can see is considerably higher. And this one over here which is called VSP its growing arm is much lower. So what they would do is come along and say ok well someone wants this particular clone here and they go out and they have us a piece of wood like that and then they got their root stock that they want and they take a bit of that and then they graft them together. This is pretty agricultural. They would make a “V” or something like that and then they’d stick them together put a bit of tape around it and put some wax around it to protect it and put that in some rooting hormone and soil to promote some roots. You can see how the bottom of the plant is skinnier than the top. All these different colones do different things when you blend them together.
So I had such a lovely day didn’t you – yeah the pink stuff!
So Pinot Gris came from Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc was a further derivative of Pinot Gris. So it is not a blend of Pinot and Sauvignon Blanc. It is its own varietal. We call that Mr Dangerous. Pretty easy to drink, pretty on the nose, nice texture. Lovely sort of lunchtime wine. There’s only about 11hectares of that planted nationally so its a very unusual grape variety.
Why do you think it is so unusual though?
I honestly don’t know the answer to that. I suspect that if I took that to a retailer and said sell that everyone would walk past it because they have never heard of it or tried it. But in here when people get an opportunity to try it and they go wow that’s amazing. And more often than not we send a few bottles out the doors. it is really nice to have this as a point of different. That’s probably our point of difference there.
How’s the Rosé? It’s going down really well.
Well what a great way to kick start this virtual wine experience. Together with Altitude Tours and LWBTV we hope to uncover the stories around our thriving wine region. Cheers to you Mt Rosa. I love the relaxed atmosphere that you provide. But we can’t get too comfortable we got to go onwards to our next stop. This is Lauren Prebble out for our virtual wine tour.