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Giant Steps Take Bastard Hill

By Wednesday 31 August 2022September 28th, 2023No Comments

Giant Steps – owned by Jackson Family Wines – has bought the famous Bastard Hill vineyard in the Yarra Valley from Accolade Wines.

Situated in the Upper Yarra Valley in the sub-region of Gladysdale, Bastard Hill is a 31-hectare property with 13 hectares of vines, planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

The vineyard’s name is derived from its steep slope and high altitude, ranging in elevation from 300 to 400 metres.

Located along Prices Road, Bastard Hill is a celebrated site in the Yarra planted in the late 1980s by viticultural legend Ray Guerin.

Dedicated initially to the production of super-premium sparkling wine, the site was quickly recognised for its potential to produce top quality still wines, releasing the Bastard Hill Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines in the 1990s.

Regarded as one of the great Chardonnay sites in Australia, the vineyard was also historically a source for Hardy’s Eileen Hardy Chardonnay.

Giant Steps founder Phil Sexton says, “As passionate owners and farmers of some of the best premium wine producing sites in the Yarra Valley, we are excited to add this vineyard to the Giant Steps single vineyard family and return this unique vineyard to the iconic status it rightly deserves.”

“The dramatic landscape of Bastard Hill reflects viticulture at its most extreme,” says Christopher Jackson, second-generation proprietor of Jackson Family Wines.

“The extremity of the site sets the stage for Giant Steps to continue to tell the story of the Yarra through the lens of transparent varieties, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

“We are thrilled to see the winery’s capacity for site expression unfold as it breathes new life into one of Australia’s most fiercely pedigreed sites.”

Bastard Hill joins the iconic Applejack vineyard as the second single vineyard site in the Upper Yarra Ranges owned by Giants Steps.

In addition to these sites, Giant Steps owns Sexton vineyard in Gruyere, manages Tarraford vineyard under a long-term lease agreement, and works closely with growers from the Primavera and Wombat Creek vineyards.

Giant Steps assumes management of the Bastard Hill vineyard under the guidance of its head of winemaking and viticulture, Melanie Chester, and viticulture manager Ashley Wood.

“The reputation of this vineyard precedes it, so it’s the perfect fit in our pursuit of the iconic sites for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the Yarra Valley,” says Melanie.

“Our skilful and dedicated vineyard team are perfectly suited to embrace the opportunity to grow premium grapes from one of the most established Upper Yarra vineyards.

“We can’t wait for vintage 2023 where we can start understanding its potential in the Giant Steps house.”

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