Organic Wines & Farming
We believe we grow and make better wine by adhering to organic farming principles. For us it is about the return to the early years of farming on the ‘Bundarra’ property. When Varley Bailey planted vines in the 1870s he did so without the aid of synthetic sprays and chemicals, and so it remained for decades.
In total we have ten varieties planted across thirty individual blocks within our single vineyard. Vine age ranges from well in excess of 100 years, to the most recent plantings in 2012.
Outstanding Wine Quality
In 2009 we made the decision to adapt all of our vineyards to organic farming practices. This involved a three-year conversion, culminating in our certification in 2011. Simply put, this means we farm our vineyards without synthetic chemicals, sprays, fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides, or any other products that are not naturally occurring.
In 2012 we took the next logical step of carrying the organic management practices from the vineyard through to the winery, producing a single organic Shiraz. From vintage 2019, we made all Baileys of Glenrowan table wines organically grown and produced. Our wine making philosophy somewhat mirrors the vineyard, which is based around the minimal intervention ethos which really lets the fruit shine. This allows the wine to possess the Baileys of Glenrowan unique finger print.
Our climate is described as continental – warm to hot through the day, cool to cold at night, and mild weather through autumn, allowing for a long, slow ripening period. This is particularly well suited to red and fortified varieties, giving opulence and depth of flavour, yet retaining balance and freshness with the moderating night time temperatures. Our focus rests very much on the heritage varieties of the region – namely Shiraz, Durif and Muscat, with more recent plantings of Nero d’Avola (originating from Sicily) and a number of Portuguese varieties adding a little exotic interest.
We are blessed to have access to some of the greatest old vine resources in Victoria.
The 1904 Block has the first vines to be re-planted on resistant rootstock after the scourge of phylloxera swept through North East Victoria in the late 1890s. It remains one of, it not the, oldest producing vineyard in North East Victoria. A gnarled two acres planted alongside the winery, the 1904 Block produces tiny crops of highly expressive, textured Shiraz. Only in exceptional years do we release the 1904 Block Shiraz as a single block wine.
1920s Block Shiraz
The 1920s Block Shiraz is perhaps our most celebrated wine – by virtue of the fact that it is released more consistently than the 1904 Block. Whilst only two hundred metres separates the 1904 and 1920s plantings, they produce markedly different wines. The hungry, decomposed granite soils of the 1920s Block results in a more powerful, structured Shiraz with a darker fruit profile. The 1904 Block, planted on a deep run of dark loam, is generally more lifted and expressive, with a spicy, finely textured mouthfeel. Both have the capacity to age gracefully for many years.
Other old vine plantings include Muscat a Petits Grains Rouge (Brown Muscat) and Muscadelle (Tokay/Topaque) which date to the 1920s and 1950s.