Arundel Farm Estate is a boutique winery located within the Sunbury Wine Region just 16 kilometers from the City of Melbourne. The vineyard was originally planted to two acres of Shiraz and Cabernet in mid 1980. Rick Kinzbrunner of Giaconda Wines made the first vintages in 1988, 1989 and 1990. Rick Kinzbrunner continued as the winemaker until the mid 90’s. Our vineyard has been expanded to 20 acres and consists of 40 year old vines along with the newer plantings in 1996 and 2000. Today, our vineyards are planted solely to Shiraz, 16 acres and Viognier, 4 acres – the varieties best suited to the Sunbury Wine Region.
Our vineyards consist of 12,000 vines planted over three main blocks, Airport Block north facing, Two Tank Block, north west facing and Old Block south facing. Each block is ideally located, well drained and all have slightly different soil types which produce fruit with different but complimentary characteristics.
Our rich soils with underlying limestone produce fruit which results in bold wines with high extract and color, luscious and richly textured.The vineyards are exposed to constant spring winds (similar to the Mistral) that reduce disease pressure and enable us to have very low chemical input.
To achieve consistent exceptional quality wines, we start the vintage year by undertaking rigorous pruning regimes in each vineyard. Pruning is a critical practice of our vineyard management which allows us to carefully inspect the health of each individual vine and to correctly optimise the vine’s productivity and fruit quality.
Our preferred method of pruning is Cane Pruning. Whilst this method is more labour intensive and requires more skill it allows us to control the amount of fruit that is set by the number of buds on each cane. This in turn allows us to control the size of the canopy to optimise sunlight and reduce pressure on disease.
Grape harvesting time at Arundel Farm Estate varies from year to year and is highly dependent on the seasonal fluctuation in temperatures. Getting the harvest time correct is crucial if we are to produce wines of consistent high quality. The time of harvest is determined primarily by the ripeness of the grape as measured by sugar, acid and tannin levels. These measures are carried out three times per week to determine the optimum pick date.
Hand picking of grapes is the harvest technique used at Arundel Farm Estate. This practice is also labour intensive but we believe hand picking preserves the integrity of the fruit, which can lead to better quality wine without causing damage to the vines and trellises.
Once harvested, the fruit is processed on site on the same day it is picked. A small mechanical crusher destemmer is used to create the must which is then pumped into large stainless steel open top tanks for primary fermentation. During this phase the must is plunged or pumped over at least three times daily to extract the optimum colour and flavour of the wine.
The primary fermentation process or maceration time can take 2 to 3 weeks to complete.After fermentation the wine is racked into stainless steel tanks and the remaining pomace is transferred into a basket press where the must is gently pressed to extract the remaining juice from the grape skins.The wine is then transferred into French Oak barrels and the wine is aged for a minimum of 12 months prior to bottling.
Annual production ranges between 2,000 to 3,000 cases depending on vintage.
Arundel Farm Estate was purchased by the Ceccomancini family in October 2011 and continues to produce fine wine varietals of Shiraz and Viognier under our winemaker Mark Matthews. Mark is a winemaker with 18 vintages experience across the globe.