Twenty years ago the team behind Indigo Vineyard saw Beechworth not only as great area to make quality wine but as a place to make wines at a price point where they can be poured with family meals, at BBQs with friends and to share over a plate of appetisers. This puts wines the region produces within the reach of people who want quality without the big spend.
Indigo Vineyard in Everton Upper sits on similar terroir as some of the best names in the region, covering some of the famous free-draining granite and loamy soils. ‘We were looking for over a year for a vineyard site,’ says co-founder Rob Hawkings. ‘We settled on an old sheep station called The Big Valley outside of Beechworth and planting began in 1999.’ There they planted 12 different varieties including chardonnay, pinot noir, shiraz, pinot gris and sangiovese.
Like many of the other winemakers in the region, Indigo chose to use sustainable practices in the vineyard such as using biodynamic applications to improve soil health, the application of tonnes of compost and the eschewing of chemical herbicides. They took it one step further and introduced a flock of Dorper sheep to eat the grass between the vines. This reduces the use of diesel, lowers soil impaction and the Dorpers’ manure fertilises the soil.
Winemaking is done off site by some of the best in the business, namely Marc Scalzo at Rutherglen Estates and the award-winning team at Brokenwood in NSW. The pinot grigio is a brilliant BBQ wine with bright fruit flavours and clean, lean acidity. From the Rhone varietals comes the Indigo Roussanne. This has had some good skin contact and seen ten months in French oak, giving this light bright fruit-driven wine some lovely toasty aromas. You can taste these wines at structured tastings at the cellar door where four white and four red wines are poured in two separate wine flights.
This very generous and informative tasting is free. Indigo wines are designed to pair with food and on the first Friday of every month there is a Long Table Lunch where chef Sally Lynch from Beechworth’s renowned Taste Trekkers prepares a two course lunch. This often includes lamb sourced from the Indigo Vineyard flock and served with a bottle of wine between two; costing just $45. ‘Indigo Vineyard is all about affordable luxury,’ says Rob. ‘We make seriously good wines at a good price.’ While you’re there, pick up some of the Dorper lamb from the freezer.
Open daily 11am-4pm
1221 Beechworth-Wangaratta Road, Everton Upper, Victoria
Tel 03 5727 0233