Today’s guest blogger is Nick Dry, viticulturalist at our Yalumba Nursery. He also looks after the vines for Redbank.
I think I have one of the best jobs in Yalumba. I am writing this from the front deck of one of the Redbank growers in the King Valley. The King Valley, for those who haven’t had the pleasure of visiting, is situated in Northeast Victoria at the foot of the Australian Alps. Rolling hills, pristine mountain streams, hidden valleys, and dense scrub, it would have to be one of the most picturesque winegrape growing regions in the world.
Apart from looking after growers for Redbank in the King Valley, I am the Yalumba Nursery viticulturist. The Yalumba Nursery was established in the 1970s to provide Yalumba’s own vineyards with grafted grapevines (a grafted vine is one that has been grafted to a phylloxera/nematode resistant American rootstock). The business has grown and Yalumba Nursery is now Australia’s leading producer of grafted grapevines.
Along with the supply of grafted vines, the nursery is involved with the importation and assessment of new varieties and clones. So our own vineyards and growers have first access to the best grapevines for their vineyards and ultimately means that our winemakers have access to the best fruit, which is reflected in the wines.
I was kicking back the other night with Tim Jones, our nursery production manager, enjoying a bottle of the trophy-winning Heggies Reserve Chardonnay and discussing the old debate, whether great wine is made in the vineyard or the winery. Somewhere near to the bottom of the bottle we came to the realisation that to make a great wine, you need a great winemaker, but you also need a great vineyard. But a great vineyard needs great vines (i.e the right clone/rootstock combination), so therefore a great wine begins in the nursery.
So next time you’re enjoying another bottle of Yalumba wine, take time to think about where it all began.