All Chandon sparkling wines are created using the centuries-old ‘méthode traditionnelle’, developed in the Champagne region of France. After the grapes are pressed, the juice undergoes two separate fermentations, the second taking place in individual bottles producing the fine bubbles of great sparkling wine. Méthode traditionnelle wines are made exclusively from chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier grape varieties, each imparting classic varietal flavours, elegance and finesse.
Hidden within Victoria are some viticultural gems, where a varietal expresses itself with unique clarity and vibrancy. This is the marriage we seek for Chandon wines. The unique breadth of cool climate sites found in Victoria’s high countries and valleys provides the diversity which lies at the heart of the complexity we achieve in our wines.
Two critical factors influence the cool-climate regions of Victoria. The first is the cold weather patterns that sweep in from the Great Southern Ocean. The second is the Great Dividing Range, cutting through Victoria and creating mountainous and hilly terrain across more than a third of the state. The combination of these factors offers many outstanding sites for cool-climate viticulture. The influence of climate is critical in allowing the Chandon winemaking team to select grapes that provide elegant structure, and vibrant varietal expression for our still wines.
Today the winemaking team work with a number of growers to provide the diversity of fruit we require for our wines. During the growing season Chandon’s viticulturists and winemakers visit our many growers to assess progress in the vineyard, monitor the ripening of the grapes and select the perfect moment to harvest.
The Yarra Valley offers great diversity for our winemakers. Fruit can be sourced from a range of viticultural sites with different micro climates. They vary from the Green Point Vineyard at Domaine Chandon, to the slopes of the upper Yarra, at 500m above sea level. These micro climates, combined with subtle variations in soil types - from ancient alluvial sandy clay loams soils to the red granitic soils of the upper Yarra - give the winemaking team the ideal ‘terroir’ diversity to produce complexity and balance in our wines.
In 1994, we found a marvellous site in the remote and spectacular Strathbogie Ranges. At an altitude of almost 700 metres and with granitic clay loam soils, this vineyard produces vibrant fruit with intense flavours. The vineyard is planted to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, which have subtly different varietal expression to the same varieties grown on our Green Point vineyard, adding greater complexity to our sparkling and still wines.
In addition to these regions, fruit for our sparkling wines is sourced from a variety of cool climate regions including Victoria’s Macedon Ranges, King Valley and Tasmania’s Coal River Valley. These sites provide the quality and diversity required to add additional complexity to our sparkling wines.
At Heathcote, the ancient soils and ideal climate produce shiraz with individual, regional characteristics. The uniqueness of shiraz from Heathcote has captured the imagination of the winemaking team who craft this wine as an elegant expression of the region.