Blackwood Hill is a family owned producer of Yarra Valley wines, albeit on a very small scale. Our range of wines is produced each year with indigenous yeasts, minimal intervention, and no fining or filtering, reflecting the seasonal changes in the grapes.
The Calder family planted its first vines in 1988, nestled in the Steels Creek valley, where the land was once dominated by Blackwoods. These Cabernet Franc vines proved to produce fruit of great character and were sought after by other winemakers in the area. A decision in 1998 to move from a grape-producer to a wine-producer saw plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon added. This was done in a ratio such that close to the desired blend in the finished wine was achieved. This allows for the fruit to be field blended and fermented together, creating an integrated and harmonious wine.
Blackwood Hill suffered serious losses in the Black Saturday bushfires, including all production equipment and previous vintages. The vines, however, were largely spared. The release of our reds produced in 2009, 2010 and 2011 are from the majority of vines spared.
Our range of wines is produced each year with minimal intervention, some wines are only made in years deemed suitable reflecting the seasonal changes in the grapes. Our grapes our hand-picked only when the grapes are at their ideal ripeness, in some years this has meant picking multiple times.
The care of our vines and vineyard is intimately interconnected with the management of the rest our estate. Our holisitic approach sees that our sheep and cattle are fed the marc off each pressing and the lees is composted and used in our vegetable garden. Our vineyard is fertilised and groomed by our sheep during the vines dormant months, with other organic fertilisers used during the growing period.
The cool climate of the Yarra Valley affords us the ability to produce wines that carry their fresh fruit character more than other regions and the use of old oak in the winemaking further enhances this style.