Twenty-year anniversary marked by five-trophy win

By Vanessa Wiltshire

FROM the Northern Highway, Heathcote Estate is hidden. But a short drive up Drummonds Lane reveals the gentle splendor: 90 acres of undulating vineyard, planted on the unmistakable umber of the Cambrian soil.

The vines, planted in 1999, are 20 years old. Yet at the 2019 KPMG Sydney Royal Wine Show on August 15, they bore fruit of the very best type.

Chief winemaker and general manager of Heathcote Estate Tom Carson said the 2017 Heathcote Estate Single Vineyard Shiraz was awarded not one, but five trophies.

“It’s a stunning result,” Tom said. “Over 2200 wines from across Australia were entered in the show.

“Heathcote Estate was awarded the KMPG Perpetual Trophy for Best Wine of Show in addition to The Drinks Association Perennial Trophy for Best Shiraz, The Len Evans Memorial Perpetual Trophy for Best Single Vineyard Wine, The Dr Gilbert Phillips Memorial Perpetual Trophy for Best Red Wine, and The Tucker Seabrook Perpetual Trophy for Best State Show Wine.”

Tom said the team was still reeling from its success, but felt honoured and elated.

“It's wonderful recognition of the emerging importance of the Heathcote wine region and its singular pursuit of the finest shiraz,” he said.

“Our winemaking team achieved the same success at the 2014 Sydney Royal Wine Show with the 2013 Yabby Lake ‘Block 2’ Pinot Noir.

“Two Best Wine of Show with different varieties in just six years, is such a rare feat. I'm extremely proud.”

Tom confirmed the current release 2017 Heathcote Estate Single Vineyard Shiraz is still available, but is expected to sell out.

“We’ll be at the Heathcote Food and Wine Festival this coming weekend. If you'd like to purchase the 2017 Heathcote Estate Single Vineyard Shiraz, I recommend coming,” he said.

Heathcote Estate was established in 1999 by the Kirby Family with the sole objective to make one wine — a single vineyard shiraz. Over the past decade, the label has forged a reputation for wines of exceptional character and longevity.

“Heathcote Estate was established on a prized strip of Cambrian soil just north of the township,” Tom said.

“It’s the first time a Heathcote winery has attracted this type of attention in the 128-year history of the Sydney Royal Wine Show.

“Since our first vintage of 2002, the team has been dedicated to producing a distinctive single vineyard shiraz from this site. After nearly two decades of tending the vines and hand-crafting our wines, this is wonderful recognition of our unrelenting pursuit of excellence.

“Thanks to the entire crew, our vineyard managers Paul Viggers and Vin Harrop, and the extending winemaking team with Chris Forge and Luke Lomax. A fantastic way to begin celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Heathcote Estate vineyard to be marked this October.”