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Winery Spotlight - Bannockburn (Geelong)

February 14, 2021 2 min read

Winery Spotlight - Bannockburn (Geelong)

“…Bannockburn produces outstanding wines across the range, all with individuality, style, great complexity and depth of flavour. The low-yielding estate vineyards play their role." James Halliday

There’s no doubt the reputation of Geelong has risen more sharply than any other Victorian wine region in recent years. This newfound glamour has been driven by the likes of the Farr family. Lethbridge and Clyde Park, but we should never forget the original trailblazer Bannockburn.

Stuart Hooper planted the original vineyards in 1974 in the Moorabool sub-region, just outside of the hamlet of Bannockburn. There are now 26 individual vineyard blocks, the most celebrated of these being the 'Serre' vineyard which can lay claim to being the oldest close-planted Pinot vineyard in Australia. Organic farming principles are firmly entrenched and the vineyard is progressively obtaining certification.

These principles flow through into the winery where winemaker Matt Holmes employs minimal additions, wild yeast ferments and low intervention winemaking results in wines that are made with integrity and that are distinctively Bannockburn.

With so many designated vineyard blocks on hand Bannockburn is fortunate to be able to make a number of celebrated single-vineyard wines. The 'SRH Chardonnay' comes off the oldest Chardonnay vines in the Olive Tree Hill Vineyard (12 rows of 39yr old vines), the aforementioned 'Serre' comes from a 35-year-old, organically managed, low-cropping vineyard that produces Bannockburn’s most individual Pinot fruit. Serré is close-planted to 9,000 vines per hectare and is trellised low with narrow rows—replicating the tough vineyard conditions and low yields per vine of Grand Cru Burgundy. 

'De la Terre' Shiraz and 'De la Roche' Pinot Noir are more recent creations. 'De la Terre' is a sub one-hectare, organically managed vineyard planted to 10,000 Pinot Noir vines per hectare (the 2012 release was the source of James Halliday’s “reminiscent of a young DRC” quote) whilst the 'De la Roche' is a 0.8-hectare vineyard with cuttings taken from Best’s and Tahbilk and planted to 10,000 vines per hectare.

We have updated our range to include some new releases but safe to say quality (& relative value) remains high across range.

Our favourites? The 2017 SRH ‘reserve’ Chardonnay $79 (Geelong’s oldest Chardonnay vines), a Northern Rhone look-a-like in the 2017 'De La Roche' Shiraz $59 and the 1314 AD ‘’baby’ Pinot Noir 2018 $27 (a recently developed entry-level label).

Shiraz 2017 $42

Drawn predominately from vines in the south-facing Winery Block (planted in 1990), along with some fruit from the Range Road site (planted in 1974) and some declassified De La Roche. (94pts James Suckling)

Chardonnay 2019 $56

Drawn mostly from the Estate's Olive Tree Hill Vineyard (planted in 1976) and Winery Block (1981), on volcanic soils over limestone, the average age of vines sits around the 35-year-old mark. (95pts WineFront)

'SRH' Chardonnay 2017 $79

The oldest, lowest-yielding Chardonnay vines (12 rows @ 45yrs of age) in the Olive Tree Hill vineyard. (94pts WineFront)

Pinot Noir 2018 $56

"... A complex and appetising pinot." 96 points, Huon Hooke, The Real Review

'1314 AD' Pinot Noir 2018 $26.99 (reduced from $31)

Bannockburn's 'baby' Pinot Noir from younger vines.


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