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Welcome to Vinelea Wines of Beechworth

Vinelea is a small vineyard and winery owned and managed by Stuart Smith & Rhonda Parish, a couple who studied science and worked in Melbourne in various technical and professional roles before moving to Beechworth in country Victoria for a life more in tune with the seasons. We are passionate about conservation, and the health of our land and the vineyard in particular. The care and attention taken to all vineyard work and winemaking results in high quality, intensely flavoured wine.

Our vineyard, established in 2006, is 3km NW of Beechworth township and sits in a horseshoe bend of Graveyard Creek, with a ridge line at 400m above sea level, and gentle sloping faces to both the north and south. The north aspect is noticeably warmer and ideal for Shiraz, while the south is cooler, more protected and better suited to the Chardonnay, Roussanne and Marsanne plantings.

The soil is fairly typical of the central section of the Beechworth GI - thin A-horizon, then highly decomposed buckshot gravel over clay. The subsoil has deep veins of clay streaked with coarse granitic source rock in the relatively early stages of decay. The geology is highly heterogeneous with common variation in the granite and numerous fine grained metamorphic intrusions - this is probably the origin of the Beechworth gold.

We bring a scientific approach to the vineyard management, mainly in that we observe and act where required and no more. We are extremely conservative with vineyard sprays using only the traditional Copper and Sulphur sprays to prevent mildew, and other simple chemicals only where absolutely necessary. Vineyard planting is at more than 1000 vines per acre and we rigorously shoot and fruit thin to ensure the vines are only carrying the crop they can ripen, and adjust these levels based on the weather each year. All vines are cane pruned as we have seen it produce more consistent crop levels than spur on this site. Trellis is VSP to allow for the best air and light exposure for the fruit. We are focused on long term vineyard health, and that means biodiversity and caring for the soil, so we are essentially following organic principles, with a strong focus on composting and ploughing to open the soil to moisture and air penetration. We have started with a healthy, clean site, and with careful management we are improving the soil and surrounding environment each year.

Our wine making philosophy is nothing new - in fact, that's the point; it's the way that the best of the European vignerons have been making wine for centuries - minimal intervention, clean healthy fruit, yeast from the vineyard, the best French oak that we can afford, long, slow maturation, minimal fining & filtering of the white wines and none for the reds. Stuart has been fortunate to work with Barry Morey and Ken Folkes at Sorrenberg vineyard, people for whom he has the highest regard and respect, and with whom he shares a similar philosophy on vineyard and winemaking practices.

A lot has been written about Beechworth vignerons and how the wine reflects the climate and the attitude of the individuals - and it's all true. If you bottle passion, you end up with Beechworth wine.

Current release:

14 shiraz

2014 Vinelea Shiraz was produced from 100% estate-grown fruit, hand-picked, wild yeast fermented, basket-pressed and aged for 18 months in 25% new Sirugue tight-grain oak barrels, with no fining or filtering. The result is a full-bodied Beechworth shiraz, with intense colour, bright berry fruit, well balanced oak and a touch of white pepper. A wine that will age well over the next 10 to 15 years. $30 from the winery.


15 Chard 2015 Vinelea Chardonnay - our first chardonnay to make the grade in the competitive field that is Beechworth chardonnay. As always, 100% estate fruit, hand picked, crushed and pressed in the cool of the morning, barrel fermented cool, lees stirred, 50% malo fermented, lightly fined and filtered, bottled under cork. The resultant wine is a nice example of what our granite soil does with chardonnay, it is lean, has excellent body and depth, lemon/lime fruit flavours and that delicate touch of bitterness on the finish. This wine has great bones and will age nicely for 5 or more years. $28 from the winery.
15 PB 2015 petit-blanc - This is also our first release of the Marsanne/Roussanne blend, and we've decided to call it 'petit-blanc' rather than the mouthful of its varietal names. The same picking and processing as the chardonnay was applied here, with the exception of tank fermentation then barrel aging. The wine has real body for a white wine, a generous floral nose, strong acid backbone and great length. It's not a fruit driven wine, but has a mellowness and honeydew mid palate that really carries the wine. $24 from the winery.

Deliveries of a dozen bottles or more are free of charge to Melbourne & Victoria.

Download our order form here

Vinelea wines are available from: the winery on 0427928511 or winery@vinelea.com.au

Also try:

Nick's Wine Merchants, Jacksons Crt, Doncaster. www.nicks.com.au

Blackhearts & Sparrows independent wine stores, locations across inner Melbourne. Contact www.blackheartsandsparrows.com.au

Cellar Door Wine Store, 62 Ford Street Beechworth. Phone 03 57282882 www.cellardoorwinestore.com.au

Brighton Fine Wines, 410-412 New St, Brighton. 0419 524 696

The Wine Emporium, Tenancy E2, Gasworks, 76B Skyline Terrace, Newstead Qld, 07 32521117

And these selected restaurants:

Blondie Bar, 31 Sturt Street Southbank, 03 96863389, www.blondiebar.com.au

Provenance, 86 Ford Street, Beechworth, Phone 03 57281786 www.theprovenance.com.au

The Ox and Hound, 52 Ford St, Beechworth, Phone 03 5728 2123, www.oxandhound.com.au

The Stanley Pub, 6-12 Myrtleford-Stanley Road, Stanley, Phone 03 5728 6502, www.stanleypub.com.au

The Plough Inn, 2322 Wangaratta-Beechworth Rd, Tarrawingee, Phone 03 57251609 www.theploughinn.com.au

Tanswell's Commercial Hotel, 50 Ford Street, Beechworth 3747, Phone 03 5728 1480

Email list membership:

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Vinelea Wines, 333 Malakoff Rd, Beechworth 3747. p. 0427928511, e winery@vinelea.com.au

Liquor Lic. No 32608260