Best’s Wines is celebrated for its rich vineyard resources in Victoria’s Great Western. There are two estates from which Best’s sources its fruit: the grand matriarch and headquarters, “Concongella” at Great Western; and “Salvation Hills”, 13km away at Rhymney. Each vineyard produces distinctly different grape characteristics from vines aged from less than five to 150 years old.
The original Concongella Vineyards around Henry Best’s homestead and winery contain the blocks used to produce the handcrafted Icon range. Established in 1866, “Concongella” estate takes its name from the picturesque Concongella Creek that runs beside the vineyard. The land along the creek is flat with powdery loam overlaying a deep clay sub-soil, while newer plantings are on frost-free hills.
A long, slow-ripening period and continental climate are characteristics of Great Western. The area experiences cold to very cold winters and frequently dry and cool summers, with occasional bursts of hot weather. Managing Director Ben Thomson believes a little vine stress concentrates grape flavour; at Concongella it happens naturally. Despite these natural adversities, Concongella consistently produces high-quality grapes of intense flavour.
Salvation Hills at Rhymney, which was established in 1996 is one of our newer vineyards. Salvation Hills spans across 17 hectares in this subregion of Victoria’s Great Western. The vineyard is at a low risk from frost and enjoys a cool, temperate Mediterranean climate with duplex silty soils overlying fine-textured subsoil with or without siltstone at various depths.
The newest addition to the Best's vineyard portfolio is the Sugarloaf Creek Vineyard. Take a moment and have a listen to Ben Thomson talk about why this is the most significant acquisition in our history.
SUSTAINABLE WINEGROWING AUSTRALIA
Indeed, the Australian Wine industry has a commitment of net zero emissions by 2050, which is an admirable target, but how will we actually get there?
At Best's Wines, for over 150 years, we’ve always viewed sustainability holistically, making decisions that are good for the environment. Our healthy, original 1868 plantings are a testament to our care of the land and environment within which they thrive. However, to help achieve the industry goal, we’ve decided to make our efforts official by becoming members of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia (SWA). SWA is Australia’s national program for grape growers and winemakers to demonstrate and continuously improve their sustainability in the vineyard and winery through the environmental, social and economic aspects of the business.
We’ll need to report on all aspects of the business biodiversity, waste output (from water to paper), resources usage, business management and much more, which is incredibly involved. Then there will be assessments and audits before we move to the next stage. We’re starting at home in the winery and will move the program out to our vineyards as soon as we can.
We’ll keep you updated on our sustainability journey!