Premium Australian Winery
• Facts & Figures
– 200 ha of land property in Victoria
– 50 ha planted in the Australian Pyrenees and Heathcote
– Winery (capacity 120 T) and Cellar Door in Heathcote
– Tasting Room and Office in Melbourne
– Maison Chapoutier : 7 generations of pioneering spirits
• M. Chapoutier Values & Philosophy
Humility and Determination: An Estate that nurtures its vineyards with the greatest attention for its natural balance since 1808, in Australia since 1997.
A Conviction : Bio-dynamics (Life in action) to allow the terroir to express itself: climate, soil and human know-how.
Respect for terroir, grape and consumer. Braille being a choice and a symbol reflecting openness and tolerance.
Conviviality and Generosity: sharing is caring
Winemaker Michel Chapoutier
From his childhood in France, Michel Chapoutier has retained fragrances and smells from the terroirs that fuelled his inspiration and passion - Being true to the earth, which gives its signature flavour to each wine.
Saying yes to generosity and emotion, Michel loves wine, any wines, without chauvinism.
A pioneering spirit with constant new idea in mind : never follow, always initiate and create.
True to his pioneering spirit and curious about Australia’s ability to produce great Shiraz, Michel’s love affair with Australia began in 1997. His decision to make wines in Australia was fuelled by 3 main reasons:
– Timing: the Australian vintage taking place during the French Spring
– The chance to explore unique terroirs of the oldest continent
– The opportunity to grow ungrafted vines of 19th century clonal selections
Victoria Wine Region
In his first years in Australia, Michel’s exploration of the Australian Wine Industry led him to become increasingly fascinated by the geological diversity of Victorian soils. He saw great potential in Victoria for the creation of distinct expressive wines, formulating the belief that “South Australia was the Australian vineyard of the 20th Century but for the 21st century it will be Victoria.”
Michel also sought out Australian Winemakers who shared his passion for nurturing the true expression of the vine, leading him to form friendship and partnerships with Ron Laughton from Jasper Hill, Heathcote (2003 - La Pleiade) and Rick Kinzbrunner from Giaconda, Beechworth, North-East Victoria (2008 - Ergo Sum).
In 1998, Michel discovered Victoria’s emerging Pyrenees region. Here he saw sites that could become diverse vineyards with a variety of soils and exposures. In partnership with his old friend American Wine Importer Anthony Terlato, Michel purchased the Malakoff vineyard to create Domaine Terlato & Chapoutier. In 2007 Michel purchased two neighbouring vineyards Landsborough and Shays Flat to set up the fully owned Tournon Estate.
Australian Pyrenees, Victoria
Settlers were struck by the scenic beauty of the area, its verdant grasslands and cool running streams, and considered it to be the “natural garden of Victoria”.
After being known principally as a gold mining district in the 19th century, the Pyrenees is becoming famous for rich red wines and fullbodied dry whites.
In and around the ranges and its foothills are microclimates and different soil characteristics, that
offer a wealth of variety to regional winemakers.
Pyrenees Vineyards : Shays Flat
Shays Flat is located on an east facing ridge in the valley. It appears as a natural amphitheatre with red soils of schist, quartz and rich clay. The vineyard features ten hectares of Shiraz in two parcels.
Despite the close proximity to Landsborough, the wine grown in Shays Flat is starkly different in character. The first vintages have indicated the site creates juicy, velvety wines, rounder than the Landsborough Shiraz, with delicate, supple tannins.
Pyrenees Vineyards : Landsborough
Easterly facing Landsboroug produces sharp and dark wines with beautiful structure and mineral and spicy qualities.The straw mulched non-irrigated vines were first planted in 2000. It is a lean block, highly draining with quartz laden soil contributing to low cropping vines ideal for intense wines.
On top of the hill lies approximately one hectare planted to Chardonnay of intensely quartz laden soil that in summer appears white and shimmery in the sun.
The abundance of quartz is due to the tailings of gold mining activity 100 years ago.
Heathcote used to be a bustling gold mining town, bringing together pioneers from different cultures. Those immigrants disillusioned with mining struck a new type of gold looking down
It is the Cambrian earth that confers the area’s unique ability to produce extraordinary Shiraz. It has indeed been formed from Cambrian rocks which are over 500 million years old.
The Cambrian earth runs either side of the Mt Camel range. Travelling north, it is the land on the left side of the road that is so highly sought after. The slopes are gentle and well drained.
Heathcote Vineyard : Lady’s Lane
North of Heathcote on 500 million year old Cambrian soil lies the Lady’s Lane vineyard. The soil, a red-brown gravelly loam over basalt bedrock supports low vigour vine growth and requires no irrigation.
The vineyard’s main focus is the 4 hectares of Shiraz vines planted in 2002. The fruit ripens early and is manually harvested, carefully avoiding over maturation. The wine has a fresh nose with berry and spice characters complemented by tiny, gentle tannins the result of prolonged maceration (4 to 6 weeks) and gentle extraction by way of pumping over. The result is a forward, upfront wine reflecting perfectly the terroir of Heathcote.
Winery in Heathcote
An old flour mill on Heathcote’s High Street is home to Tournon Estate Winery.
M.Chapoutier Tournon Estate provides a fascinating counterpoint to other Australian wines, often possessing more backbone, a little less alcohol and in the Shiraz, more peppery and minerally characters.
In just over ten years Tournon Estate has established a reputation for producing subtle yet powerful wines of elegance and beauty made with enthusiasm and empathy. The journey in Australia now truly underway, Tournon Estate will continue to make wines from unique terroirs with an attitude of respect, courage and innovation.