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Stuart Winesâ€™s White Box Vineyard is an exciting new venture located at Cornella in the famed Heathcote winegrowing area
Heathcote has earned a reputation as one of the most exciting wine producing regions in Australia, yielding reds of outstanding colour, varietal definition, elegance and ageing potential. Shiraz is the variety that has established the reputation of the area and makes up the majority of existing plantings. The moderate climate, dry summers and deep, red Cambrian soils of the area have proved ideal conditions for the variety. The mild climate and unique terroir produces bold, full-bodied, smooth red wines and is particularly famous for its empathy to shiraz.
The 67 hectare White Box vineyard is sited on the eastern slopes of the Mt Camel range. The property contains one of the largest remnant stands of the White Box, the earliest flowering of the eucalypts. A partnership between Stuart Wines Company and the Department of Sustainability and Environment is ensuring this ecosystem is preserved for a multitude of plant life, birds and animals that make this their home.
White Box Wines are so named because the vineyard property nurtures one of the largest remnant stands of the White Box eucalypt trees. The vineyard site is free of frosts and disease pressure is low due to the dry climate in the growing season. Shiraz is the predominant variety planted in the vineyard. Other varieties planted are Cabernet sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, Nebbiolo, Viognier and Chardonnay. The mild climate of the Heathcote region allows more varietal expression of the fruit.
All White Box wines are made from grapes grown to estate vineyards within the Heathcote area and the Yarra Valley. The fruit is always selected from the most appropriate region depending on the nature and variety of wine. The best fruit available is exclusively utilised for the White Box Range. The reds are made from grapes grown in the Heathcote region. The estate's white wines are made from grapes grown to vineyards in both the Heathcote region and the Yarra Valley. The cooler climate of the Yarra Valley lends itself to the production of the more subtle grape varieties, producing more intensely flavoured and expressive white wines.
The White Box Winery was constructed just in time for the 2004 vintage. It is sited harmoniously amongst one of Australiaâ€™s largest remaining stands of eucalypt tree, the White Box. The colours of the winery were selected to integrate with the beauty of the surrounding environment - the ochre red of the roof matches the bright colour of the Cambrian soils of the district and the straw yellow of the walls is the colour of the summer crops and pastures. The curvaceous shapes of the rooflines match the shape of the Mt. Camel range immediately to the west.
The wineworks is designed to utilize both traditional winemaking techniques and the latest technologies. The all red fermenters are elevated to a degree that must is gravity fed into the press, avoiding the need for pumping. The winery equipment includes: â€˘ 10 tonne fermenters that can be plunged using a pneumatic plunger. â€˘ 25 tonne Ganimede fermenters that utilize trapped carbon dioxide of fermentation to gently turn over the ferments in a highly controlled manner. â€˘ 25 tonne static fermenters using traditional pump-over for cap irrigation.
All fermenters are part of combination tanks, joining the fermenters above with storage tanks below. This not only allows gravity filling of the press and highly efficient use of space but allows simple rack and return if required. Other features of the winery are; â€˘ Automated control of heating and cooling of fermenters and storage tanks. â€˘ Highly efficient receival area with 25 tonne receival bin/drainer. â€˘ Plc control of all processes. â€˘ A complete wine tracking and audit system.
The winemaking team are dedicated to implementing the ideals and the philosophy of the estate. The team adopts a cooperative approach to the grape growing and winemaking processes, where attention to detail is paramount in producing the highest quality wine possible. The staff are able to utilise the outstanding facilities of the Whitebox winery to its full extent. There are four qualified winemakers in our winemaking team, with diverse experience in regional, varietal and stylistic winemaking techniques, ensuring a comprehensive knowledge base and that the utmost care is applied throughout the vinification process.
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