Fighting Gully Road
Mark Walpole is arguably one of Australia’s greatest viticulturalists and his interest in cool climate viticulture led him from his home in the Ovens Valley to the elevated Beechworth plateau at the top of the Escarpment above the Murmungee basin. The site was planted to Cabernet Sauvignon and a small amount of Merlot in 1997 on the lower North West facing slopes, followed by Pinot Noir in 1998 on the upper North East facing slopes at an elevation of 570 meters. In more recent years after working with fruit from this block small areas have been grafted to Shiraz, Tempranillo, Sangiovese, Chardonnay and Petit Menseng.
The vineyard is situated on the Old Red Ordovician mudstone and shale soils which make up about half of the regions vineyard sites, producing more tannic structured wines than from the Granitic soils in the regions North. In 2009 he gained access to the Smith vineyard, located only a few minutes away from the Fighting Gully Road site. This small vineyard was planted to Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon in 1978, making it the oldest vineyard in the region. Mark is joined in the winery by Adrian Rodda and the wines being crafted are some of the most exciting in the region.