We are excited to be the new custodians of one of the area’s most established and distinguished vineyards, Kyeema Estate. Four Winds Vineyard purchased the property that includes a vineyard and winery earlier this year.
Fortunately, the two vineyards; Kyeema and Four Winds are within an easy, 20 minute tractor drive of each other. So the management of the vines and delivery of grapes can be part of our existing operations.
But what we are really excited about is that the Kyeema Estate vineyard not only gives us access to some new varieties such as Tempranillo, Chardonnay and Viognier but it also provides us with some exceptional quality fruit such as an old Penfolds clone of Shiraz and a reserve Merlot.
The first vintage of Four Winds Vineyard wines incorporating grapes from Kyeema Vineyard are being released now - we look forward to showing you these new wines and operations as the business evolves.
Kyeema Estate is not far from Four Winds Vineyard; four kilometres south of Murrumbateman, the 10 acre vineyard sits on an intermediate volcanic belt that runs on the eastern side of the Barton Highway. Only a small handful of vineyards within the region have soils derived from this type of volcanic profile.
Kyeema Estate's first grapes of chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and cabernet franc were planted by Ron McKenzie in 1984-85. To this day, it is one of only a few Canberra vineyards to produce old-vine shiraz, and it has shiraz vines from cuttings sourced from Penfold's vineyards in South Australia.
The vineyard also sold the first grapes to BRL Hardy in the Canberra region in the mid 1990s, which convinced the wine company to invest in the area. Most of Kyeema Vineyard was under contract to Hardys until 2006, and some vintages of both the shiraz and chardonnay grapes from Kyeema were blended into Hardys’ top range Eileen Hardy label due to their high quality.
Winemaker Andrew McEwin, who had been sourcing fruit from Kyeema for his label Kyeema Wines since the first vintage in 1986, bought the vineyard in 2000, eventually rebranding as Capital Wines in 2008. In 2002 he extended by planting merlot and tempranillo, plus further shiraz from cuttings of the older shiraz vines. Viognier was also added in 2006.
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