Terroir

Vines and Earth

Mudgee's red earth has long been known for its grape growing properties with a history of grape growing stretching back over 120 years.

Mudgee has a continental climate; no influence from the sea, so hot days, cool nights and (usually) winter/spring rain with a long dry growing season. This leads to tremendous elegance and balance in the reds with a distinctive savoury character and finely structured tannins.

It is a macroclimate extremely well suited to reds , particularly varieties occurring towards the south of Europe, i.e. Spain, Southern France and parts of Italy.  The varieties we chose also reflected the suitability of the area for reds, so Shiraz, Merlot and the variety which has become synonomous with Lowe  – Zinfandel.

Having worked all over the world and made wine from some outstanding old vineyards there was only one route for us to take; unirrigated, untrellised and organic.  This means that fruit flavours reflect the soil alone as there is no support from irrigation or artificial fertilisers.  Fruit ripens earlier and is a bit more latent and lively, and very unique to the place in which it is grown.

The French call this "terroir" – a wine's unique expression of place.  To illustrate we have two totally different Shiraz styles made from two blocks only 15 metres apart.

The main Shiraz is from Block 8, sand and clay dominant, rounder riper tannins, more black fruits and olive characters.

Block 5, which consistently produces the Lowe Reserve Shiraz, is on stone and shale with more quartz.  The wine from this block is very floral in character consistently with violet undertones, the structure is completely different - more austere tannins and locked in flavours.  It takes a while to reveal its many layers and has always been a more latent wine style.