Our Vineyards and Winery
Vowing originally never to have my own winery, in 2000 the present winery was built, sort of in time for the 2000 vintage.
At that time there was the other winery in Pokolbin, Hunter Valley where 70 tonnes of Hunter Valley wine was processed. We also made 20 tonnes for our first vintage in Mudgee.
Previous to this after coming back from my flying winemaker stint in France I started making wine for a few clients; Neil Perry the chef and some vineyard owners in the Hunter. I give credit to Neil for giving me confidence to start the regional focus.
The Lowe brand commenced when I stumbled on a couple of great vineyards. Brokenback, formerly a Rothbury Semillon and Chardonnay icon vineyard, and Peacock Hill a tiny but exquisite red vineyard property in Palmers Lane Hunter Valley which I owned for a brief time.
Wine was made in the two sites because the license laws at the time only allowed me to sell from where the wine was made. Additionally having the winery near the vineyard made quality sense. It did mean lots of travelling and by 2003 the business at Pokolbin was sold to my great mate David Hook.
The original vineyard was planted in 1973 with Keith (my father) and me from cuttings stolen, I think, from a neighbour. We planted a whole lot more in 1974 and this was, according to my father, because the vines that I planted were upside down.
The Chardonnay vineyard was at the time one of the largest in Australia. The cuttings were identified as Busby clone, the original vines from the James Busby collection in the 1820s and by now in various paddocks around Mudgee. The fruit was all that was exceptional about 70’s and 80’s Chardonnay, yellow, alcoholic, 150% Chardonnay and as new a style as Marlborough Sav Blanc is now.
The red vineyards which are the backbone of the winery site, were planted in 1995, on the basis of many soil pits, lots of soil tests and survey pegs. I matched the soil differences to the varieties but the Sangiovese and Barbera failed to make the quality grade and were grafted to Primitivo in the last few years.
Nearly all the Chardonnay was removed in 2007. We saved two rows for posterity.
The winery made a lot of wine for other vineyards over the last ten years with some outstanding wines made from the Louee Nullo Mountain vineyard.
In 2010 the two vineyards merged to become Lowe Wines so expect to see an added dimension when you next visit.