‘The Freycinet Vineyards are beautifully situated on the sloping hillsides of a small valley. The soils are brown dermosol on top of Jurassic dolerite, and the combination of aspect, slope, soil and heat summation produces red grapes with unusual depth of colour and ripe flavours. One of Australia's foremost producers of Pinot Noir, with a wholly enviable track record of consistency - rare in such a temperamental variety.’ - James Halliday, Wine Companion
The cool Tasmanian climate in combination with our unique vineyard site provide ideal conditions for fine, elegant yet powerful wines. Situated on the 42 degrees latitudinal line, our 16 hectare vineyard overlooks the spectacular Freycinet Peninsula and is approximately 100m above sea level and less than 20km from the coast. The average annual rainfall is around 700mm.
The Amphitheatre Site
Perched on gentle slopes in a small, sheltered valley, the original vineyard site has sometimes been described as an ‘amphitheatre’ and ‘heat trap’. The 4 Ha amphitheatre site, comprising the Hill and the Paddock blocks contains the original plantings which are the birth right of Freycinet Vineyard and produce fruit with superb concentration and powerful, elegant tannins. Our flagship Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling are grown on these original plantings, with more than 40 years vine age.
The amphitheatre’s slopes provide enhanced sunlight inception and warmth as well as cold air drainage which eliminate menacing late spring frosts. It is not uncommon for our fruit to be harvested two to three weeks earlier than many other Tasmanian vineyards, due to the extra warmth of the site. This can be particularly beneficial, especially in the slightly cooler, wetter and lower sunshine seasons. The surrounding hills also protect against the prevailing westerly winds.
The north facing slope of the amphitheatre has brown dermosol soils over Jurassic dolerite - warm, shallow, stony and free draining with clay loam texture while the south facing slope has black vertosol - black, cracking alkaline clay with good water holding capacity.
In 1995, a second vineyard was added to form the base of our popular Louis range of wines – comprising an easy drinking fruit forward Chardonnay a brightly fruited, supple and lithe Pinot Noir. The 4 Ha Louis vineyard is 300 meters away from the original Hill and Paddock blocks, lower down the valley on a gentler north to east facing slope and has brown dermosol soils.
Radenti Vineyard at Synotts
A third vineyard site comprising 1 Ha was planted in 1995 and is 4kms west of the amphitheatre site, on our sheep grazing property, Synotts. This is a classic continental climate site: considerably cooler in winter and warmer in summer and perfectly suited to producing the gentle, pure flavours and crisp acid line of our award-winning Radenti traditional method sparkling. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are grown on a Sylvos trellis system, with vines planted on brown dermosol soils.
In 2012 we acquired the neighbouring 42 Ha Coombend property from the Brown Family Wine Group. Originally part of a larger historic holding, this included a mature 5.75 Ha vineyard and a 4.2 Ha olive grove. The Coombend vineyard provides us with beautifully zesty Sauvignon Blanc and savoury and complex Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc as well as aromatic Schonburger. In addition to all of this, the acquisition offered the opportunity to add Shiraz to our flagship range, with 0.2 Ha of 20 year old Shiraz vines. Realising the potential of our cool climate and arid soils to produce elegant, cool climate Shiraz on par with the Rhone Valley’s finest Syrah wines, additional plantings of this variety have been added.
Our very popular and completely delicious Freycinet Extra Virgin Olive Oil also comes from the Coombend property, planted with the Correggiola olive variety. Our cool climate suits the olives which slowly soak up the sun and nutrients from the soil on their way to optimum ripeness around July each year. The resulting olive oil is beautifully fragrant and elegant with sumptuous, rich flavours and a touch of spice and pungency on the back palate.
Varieties and Clones
All our vine stocks were sourced from the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries who in turn received them from the CSIRO as disease-free clonal material.
Varieties and clones planted are:
- Pinot Noir – G5V15, 114, 115, 777
- Chardonnay – I10V3, G9V7
- Riesling – F8V13, D2V3
- Cabernet Sauvignon – G9V3, BX5186
- Shiraz -
- Merlot – D3V14
- Cabernet Franc
- Sauvignon Blanc
The majority of our vineyards utlise a Lyre trellis system. Our founder, Geoff Bull became convinced of the benefits of the Lyre trellis system having had the privilege of attending a workshop with the late Graham Wiltshire of the pioneering Heemskerk winery who explained the adapted split-trellis system developed by Professor Alain Carbonneau to improve quality and yields.
As dedicated vignerons, our goal in the vineyard is to grow a moderate yield of fully ripened healthy fruit from well-balanced vines. Considerable manual work is carried out in the form of hand pruning, shoot thinning and positioning, leaf plucking and hand picking in order to achieve this. As one of the pioneering Tasmanian vineyards, we benefit from considerable vine age, with well established root systems.
Our vineyards yield approximately 150 tons of fruit, depending on the season and all the wine is vinified on the estate. The winemaker's thumbprint is minimal in order to showcase the fruit, the vineyard's terroir and the season's characteristics. Our wines are 100% grown, vinified and bottled on our estate with passion and dedication and in the spirit of true vignerons.
With our winery located at the heart of our vineyards, we are able to maintain a close connection to every stage of our wine production, from vine to bottle.