Soil and Climate
The climate changes progressively from lower northern to higher southern elevations, with a progressive increase in rainfall and a decrease in heat summations. At Milawa the growing season rainfall is 329mm but at Myrrhee and Whitfield, halfway up the valley at an elevation of 320 metres, it has risen to 442mm while at Whitlands it is 630mm. Ripening is progressively delayed; the style of wine changes, and at the highest altitude the climate is ideal for the production of fine sparkling wine base.
Most vineyards have been established on relatively gentle slopes, typically north and north-east facing.
Soil types vary significantly throughout the valley, changing with altitude, slope and site characteristics. However, deep red clay loams abound, at times veering more to grey or brown in colour but having the same structure. Drainage is good, fertility high, and vigorous growth is encountered in virtually all sites.
Harvest is mid-March to late May.