A chat with Maree from Lethbridge
As part of the Tastes of the Moorabool Valley wine club, we’re thrilled to be partnering with some of the Moorabool Valley’s finest wineries and producers each quarter. We’ve partnered with Lethbridge Wines and Moorabool Valley Chocolate, who are our guest producers this winter. Maree from Lethbridge Wines is one of the most passionate and knowledgeable winemakers we know. She’s kindly joined us to share some of her local secrets and what makes the Moorabool Valley such a unique wine region.
Why did you decide to move to the Moorabool Valley and plant those many years ago?
Once we had decided we were brave enough to pursue our passion for wine and to create and not just enjoy, we began our search for a site to plant a vineyard that had the potential to produce the type of wine we liked to drink – cool climate, complex and textural. The geology of the site we discovered in the Moorabool Valley, with the black basalt derived soils formed from the lava flows of the western district volcanos over the limestone seabed, gave us confidence to put down our roots in the Moorabool Valley and plant vines.
What, in your mind, makes the Moorabool Valley so unique compared to other wine regions?
I think it is the overall terroir. At our site we have shallow soils, we are marginal for rainfall and it is pretty windy. All of this makes the vine struggle and naturally keeps the yields low, which makes for great concentration in the berries. I can’t think of any other wine regions that would accept such low yields, but the reward is in the concentration of flavour and tannin.
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If you had a day off to yourself to spend in the Moorabool Valley, what would you do for the day?
I would take a picnic basket, stocked with local produce – Meredith Dairy Cheese, Hidden Secret condiments and of course a bottle of local wine, and head to Steiglitz and the Brisbane Ranges National Park. There is a wonderful rock gorge and in the late winter and early spring, the wattle and wildflowers are beautiful.
Tell us about Lethbridge’s 2021 vintage? Anything people should be looking forward to?
2021 was a very cool vintage and we find that the cool vintages are usually the best ones. There was a lot of rain throughout the growing season and while many people had big problems with disease, our incredible vineyard duo did an extraordinary job and we managed to bring in pristine fruit, so as far as we can tell all of the elements are there for 2021 to be a great vintage.
What’s your stand out wine people should be drinking right now?
2018 Mietta Pinot Noir, it is tasting sensational right now.
image courtesy of Gourmet Traveller
If money were no object, what wine would you buy for tonight and what food would you pair it with?
Bartolo Mascarello, Barolo, 2016 paired with a goat ragu with gnocchi.
Support Lethbridge wines by buying directly from their website.
You can also taste a bottle of Lethbridge wines in our winter Tastes of the Moorabool Valley Wine Club shipment. Available until July 15