No one was ever going to tell our special block of land what grape varieties would produce great wines from its ancient soils. In typical Australian fashion many grape varieties were trialled, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz. But the land just shook its head. Keep trying.
Colmar Estate is a 6 hectare vineyard nestled in the slopes of the extinct volcano Mt Canobolas in the Orange region of New South Wales. At an altitude of 980 metres it is one of the highest vineyards in Australia and a unique site to grow high quality wine grapes. But not just any grapes.
The cool, continental climate of Colmar Estate is similar to those in some of the classic wine regions of France, such as Burgundy, Sancerre and Alsace. The grape varieties that excel in these regions are Pinot Noir for red wines and rosé, and Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Traminer and Sauvignon Blanc for white wines.
So the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz are gone – grafted to more suitable varieties. These are mostly classic white varieties, including the Alsace trio – Riesling, Pinot Gris and Traminer – and Sauvignon Blanc.
There are also three high quality clones of Chardonnay and three clones of Pinot Noir. Mother Nature will dictate which wines we produce from our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – sparkling wines in the cooler years and fine barrel aged Chardonnay and elegant Pinot Noir red wines in the warmer years.
Our very determined block of land has finally got what it wanted.