Steve Flamsteed Giant Steps Yarra Valley, VIC
It’s an Aussie thing to take it to 11… then swing it back a little in everything we do. But at the same time, I think two significant things were also happening. Firstly, our average vine age in the
Yarra Valley was coming to the sweet spot, the 20-year thing from all those plantings in the late ’90s. And secondly, as a community of winemakers, we got over the cultural cringe of trying to make what we thought we should be making or what someone told us the public wanted and decided to let the vineyards do the talking. The surprise was that we started loving our own wines!
It’s like we now own a beautiful handforged carbon steel chef’s knife and we’re going to keep sharpening the blade. Minerally edges will become more refined, fruit characters will become more defined, regions will become clearer and single vineyards will become the bands; the vintages will be the albums. People will start to follow sites as much as they follow producers.
We were all about clones when the vineyards were less than 10 years old, but as we approach 20 to 25 years of age, site definitely trumps clone. With maturity, all the chardonnays are ‘becoming’ their sites.