Only an hour’s drive from Melbourne in Bannockburn, Clyde Park is renowned for its chardonnay and pinot noir. It was established by revered industry figure Gary Farr in 1979 when the Geelong wine region was in its infancy and pinot noir was barely heard of. “Where we are has enormous winds, rocky volcanic soils and challenging conditions,” says winemaker Terry Jongebloed, owner of Clyde Park with his wife Sue. “It’s a very low yielding vineyard but we concentrate on nurturing the health of the soil and making fruit packed with flavour.” By the time the Jongebloeds took over the site on the rolling green hills surrounding the Moorabool River in 1996, pinot was on the way up, but still had a long way to go to penetrate the popular drinking consciousness. “It’s fantastic to see pinot noir appreciated by so many people now,” he says. “It’s really come along in leaps and bounds.”
The wines made by Terry and his co-chief winemaker Jess Robinson, formerly of Mount Langi Ghiran and Punt Road, are all about expressing the true flavours of the grape varieties. “We believe in gentle and lengthy ferments and good old fashioned French oak, the best you can get.” The Estate Chardonnay is full bodied and oak driven, while the Estate Pinot Noir is all about classic cherry flavours with notes of blackcurrant: “It’s powerfully herbaceous in a good way, with vanilla notes from the toast of the oak”. The Estate Shiraz displays the distinctive cool climate personality of a variety typically associated with warmer regions, with structured tannins and well-balanced acidity. “They’re very food driven wines,” says Terry. “I suppose I really am making wines that I love to drink.” The consistent five-star rating in the Halliday Wine Companion is testament to the approach of being hands-on in the vineyard and more hands-off in the winery. “We want to allow the fruit and our terroir to come to life in every bottle,” Terry says.
Visiting Clyde Park during winter means warming yourself by the fire while watching the flock of black faced Suffolk sheep busy with weed removal in the vineyard below. Book ahead for a guided tasting through the estate’s 20-plus wines – an Enomatic system means even the premium Single Block wines can be enjoyed at the American oak tasting bench – or take a glass of your favourite out onto the broad deck to soak up the views. Hungry? The bustling Barrel Hall bistro has all bases covered, from cheese platters to wood fired pizza and wagyu steak with duck fat potatoes, made with the region’s best produce.
Products featured are available from 28/06/23 to 1/08/23, while stocks last. Some products or varieties featured may not be available in all stores.