Saturday May 6, 1815, Governor Lachlan Macquarie, on
his historic journey over the Blue Mountains noted in
his journal "…we reached a fine and fertile valley near
the foot of the mountains with a very pretty brook of
fresh water running through it…. I have named this valley
Gold had been discovered in the Bathurst area in 1850.
But it was in 1864 that an Italian prospector, Carlo
Giuseppe Fontana, discovered gold on the slopes of the
hills of Winbourn-Dale. This gold discovery was named
Fontana Reef, and the hill Mount Fontana in his memory.
It is here that we planted our vines in 1998.
Winburndale is covered in the remnants of old gold
mines. And there is a great affinity between gold and
quality wine. It has to do with ancient alluvial soils
in shallow layers on the hillsides. These soils are
less fertile and the vines are thus less vigorous.
days and cool nights in summer and autumn produce a
long ripening period. This leads to true physiological
ripening and the development of natural acidity. The
very cold winter means true dormancy.
This combination of factors creates a
special site, uniquely suited to the production of beautifully
flavoured grapes and the production of outstanding wines.
We now recognize that, to make fine and special wines
you must first have such a special site; one where the
coming together of all the factors such as climate,
soil, landscape, temperatures by day and night, rainfall
distribution, sunlight, slopes and drainage react with
each other to produce the ideal grape.
After many years searching we finally found our unique
site on the slopes of Mount Fontana, one which combined
all of the right factors as well as having gold and
cold. Here at 800 metres above sea level, the land is
rocky and tough, with slopes to give the vines protection
from frosts and to give ample sunlight in summer for
There are three vineyards here, each with its own site
characteristics. Rows run north/south for optimal sun
exposure, and are around 200 metres long. The vineyards
were chosen for aspect and temperatures variation, and
varietal and clone selection were matched to these characteristics.