The Southern Grampians is renowned for its rich, fertile soils which in turn gives rise to not only a delectable array of produce but also a reserve of refined wines. The cool climatic conditions and sufficiently suitable sun exposure means that this region (also known as the Henty Wine Region) produces a plethora of grapes.
One of the exemplary wineries of the Henty Region that is flawlessly utilising the unique environment is Bochara Wines. Set amongst the looming redgums, this winery was established in 1998 at the small settlement of Bochara, 10km west of Hamilton.
This five-acre vineyard site was specifically selected for its well-drained buckshot gravel soil and a north-facing aspect which in turn produces a choice grape for such varieties as Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer. The charming cellar door of Bochara (a former home of a returned WWI Light Horseman built in the 19th century) affords an idyllic tasting area and verandah to take in the vineyard’s magnificent expanse.
Martin Slocombe of Bochara Wines took some time out to talk with us about Henty Wines and the Bochara harvest.
How would you best describe your Bochara wines?
Bochara wines is a very small vineyard and winery where we try our hardest at every stage to maximise wine quality and listen to what the natural environment around us is saying. We hope that this is reflected in enjoyment by people drinking the wines.
What do you love about the Henty wine region?
Its ability to produce wines of the very highest quality and the enormous potential into the future. To date only a handful of vineyards have been planted, but there are literally thousands of paddocks currently being grazed by sheep that have great soils, aspect and climate and would surely grow great wine.
Do you have any tips to offer when it comes to choosing a wine?
We have often been asked what is our favourite variety or style. The truth is that when done well there is great pleasure to be had across the whole universe of wine, so keep an open mind! If you are travelling to a wine region visiting winery cellar doors is a great idea, here you can try wines that you may not have tasted before and often talk with the producers and see the vineyards the grapes have come from.
How do you know when you have a particularly good vintage?
When the grapes come into the winery and start to ferment into wine and the air fills with delicious fruity aromas, then you know that you are going to have something special to show for all that work in the vineyard.
What wines from the Henty region would you recommend and why?
Pinot noir is a star performer. Because we get lots of sunshine for such a cool climate region, pinots from the Henty wine region have great colour, abundant fruit flavour and good structure.
Gewurztraminer is another one to look out for. The conditions here really suit it with producers typically making a drier style with outstanding varietal expression. All that makes for a very food-friendly wine.
Of course, the region also produces sparkling wine, riesling, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot gris and shiraz that are amongst the best to be found anywhere!
Be sure to stop in at the cellar door of Bochara Wines and sample their palatable array of vintages.
1099 Glenelg Highway HAMILTON VIC 3301
03 5571 9309 or 0401 220 943 or 0429 957 959
For more information on the exceptional Henty Wine region, visit – www.hentywineregion.org.au