Current stock: 7
The company Caledonia Australis was founded in the early 1990’s by a group of Melbourne based wine enthusiasts who shared a common goal of creating classical Burgundian styled wines. Martin Williams MW was engaged as foundation winemaker and the journey began. Initially in partnership with Phillip Jones from Bass Phillip, the group chose small vineyard sites around the town of Leongatha to specific criteria and began planting. The partnership soon dissolved but the vineyard sites were planted and the first vintage was produced in 1999.
Mark Matthews began working with Caledonia Australis in 2008 after acquiring the major vineyards and assuming day to day responsibility for managing vineyards and winemaking. In late 2009 the Matthews family also acquired both brands and stock thus turning Caledonia Australis and Mount Macleod into a small family domain, surely the truest structure for the original Burgundian vision.
The Chardonnay is whole bunch pressed and lightly settled prior to racking to barriques. As with the Pinot Noir the fermentations are allowed to proceed naturally and at their own pace. Malolactic fermentation is not encouraged or discouraged and most barrels have some malolactic influence though the cold cellar temperature generally precludes full malolactic fermentation taking place. The wines are minimally sulphured in early spring to prevent malolactic fermentation completing. The chardonnay then remains on lees for another year with gentle batonnage as required. Light bentonite fining and another small sulphur addition are made prior to bottling.
Made unashamedly with a natural and old world hand. The vineyard is dry grown and close planted with vine spacings of 1m and a fruiting wire at 50cm. The vines are entirely hand tended, with yields consistently well below the 35hl/ha (2.18t/ac) ceiling that is imposed on the Grand Cru vineyards of the Cote d’Or. The wines are made with minimal additives or intervention and primacy is given to the wines texture and structure.
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