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 People Behind the Wine
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.
Salvation Hills Vineyard
Salvation Hills is in the subregion of Great Western at Rhymney. It’s been in the Thomson family since 1996. The 17-hectare vineyard enjoys a cool, Mediterranean temperate climate with silty soils overlying fine-textured subsoil, with or without siltstone at various depths.
Salvation Hills is at low risk from frost and the quality of the fruit currently produced can only be described as outstanding. There are still an additional eight hectares available for planting, offering Best’s Great Western the opportunity for further expansion.
At this vineyard we grow Shiraz that is used in the production of our Bin No 1 Shiraz and Riesling for our Great Western Riesling. We also grow Pinot Noir for our Great Western wine and we planted Pinot Meunier in 2015, but we won’t see production for three to five years
The ‘Concongella’ estate takes its name from the picturesque Concongella creek that runs beside the vineyard. Climatically cold to very cold winters and frequently dry and cool summers, with occasional bursts of hot weather, are the norm. Ben Thomson believes a little stress concentrates grape flavour; at Concongella it happens naturally.
Despite these natural adversities, Concongella consistently produces high quality grapes of intense flavour. The vineyard is a blend of old and new plantings, and the grapes for the Best’s Great Western Icon wines are grown and sourced from the Concongella Vineyard.
At this vineyard, we have five important blocks of fruit that relate to the history of Best’s and our award-winning, cool-climate Shiraz for which Best’s is now famous.