Jasper Hill is a winery in Heathcote in the central Australian estate of Victoria, around 72 miles (116km) north of Melbourne. The estate was founded by Ron and Elva Laughton. The first vintage was 1982. The 2019 vintage was their 38th.
Owner: Ron Laughton and daughters Emily McNally and Georgia Laughton.Emily has made wine alongside her father since 2001. Georgia enjoys doing most of the administrative work. Ron and Elva live amongst the vines on Emily’s Paddock; Emily lives on Georgia’s Paddock vineyard with her husband Nick, daughter Ella and son Nate. Nick is also a highly valued member of the team, both in the vineyard and in the cellar.
Vineyards: The vineyards are called ‘Paddocks’, an Australian term meaning a fenced field.18ha (45 acres).
Viticulture: The wines are grown, made and bottled entirely on the estate from organic, ungrafted, unirrigated vineyards. The owners produce their own composts and have never used synthetic chemicals on either the vines or the soils, since the vineyards were planted in 1975. Mminimal tillage, natural inter-row mulching for bio-diversity, very low yields. Hand pruning and hand harvesting.
Terroir: Both Emily’s Paddock and Georgia’s Paddock comprise soils derived from Cambrian age rock (500 million years ago). Generally, the deep bed rock is basaltic. The soils are unusually deep, over 3 metres in most places, friable red brown ferruginous gravelly loam, on well drained slopes.
The Cambrian soil which is rare on earth occurs in a narrow, non-contiguous north-south strip between two parallel faults and is typically only a few hundred metres wide. The faults give rise to a complex mineralogy. (Gold is still mined in Heathcote, but the vineyards are not in the auriferous zone). Both Emily’s Paddock and Georgia’s Paddock are on elevated hillsides at 320m (1,000 feet) and are approximately 1km apart. Emily’s Paddock has a north-east aspect, and shallower Cambrian soil, while Georgia’s Paddock has a NW aspect and the deeper Cambrian soil.
Climate: The annual rainfall of a low 5,75mm (23 inches) is winter/spring dominant with dry summers and little or no rain from December until after vintage in April. Situated on the inland slopes of the Great Dividing Range, the climate is continental, with low humidity during the growing season. The deep soil enables healthy, low vigour vine growth, without irrigation. The climate can be classified as cool/warm, with a Heat Summation of 1420 Celsius Degree Days. Frost during the early growing season is normal in the district, but not on the high vineyard slopes.
Organic certification: Yes.
Winemaking: Vintage begins in early in April, more recently in mid-March.
Georgia’s Paddock Riesling:
Georgia’s Paddock Semillon:
Georgia’s Paddock Viognier:
Cornella Vineyard Grenache:
Emily’s Paddock Shiraz
Emily’s Paddock Shiraz-Cabernet Franc
Georgia’s Paddock Shiraz: 2003 45mg/l sulfites (Isabelle Legeron, 2014, p196.
Georgia’s Paddock Nebbiolo:
88 Drummond’s Lane, Heathcoate, Victoria 3523, Australia
Postal address: PO Box 110, Heathcote, Vic 3523, Australia
Telephone: +61 3 5433 2528 | Email: email@example.com
Isabelle Legeron MW, Natural Wine, An introduction to organic and biodynamic wines grown naturally (2014, Cico Books, London & New York).