VICTORIA, ALPINE VALLEY
Gapsted Wines, located near Myrtleford in Victoria’s High Country, is an award-winning winery producing premium cool climate wines from the King and Alpine Valleys. We produce innovative wine varieties including Petit Manseng and Saperavi, as well as classic styles such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay.
Seven wine industry families who came together and invested themselves in the region that they love. Although their skills, talents, and personalities are varied, they made the decision to build a winery based on the single idea of ‘excellence’. It’s this idea that drives and makes them uncompromising in all that they do.Over a planned weekend away in 1996 the founding partners – Shayne Cunningham, John Cavedon, Pat and Kevin Murtagh, the Bailey family, Jim Moularadellis, Bill Moularadellis and Richard Carson – got together to discuss the winery partnership. Their decision to embark on this business venture saw the birth of Gapsted Wines on that same weekend.
The Alpine Valleys wine region takes in the scenic Kiewa, Ovens, Buckland and Buffalo Valleys encompassing the major ski fields of Victoria. Bordering the Buffalo Valley to the east is the picturesque King Valley. The viticultural characteristics of the King Valley and Alpine Valleys are cool climate, alpine breezes, high rainfall, snow run-off in the spring, cold nights, morning fogs (mountain mists), crystal clear skies and abundant freshwater. The altitude provides cool nights, even when the days are warm, which is critical in premium grape production. Cool mountain air flows up and down the valleys. This “Buffalo breeze” provides nature’s air conditioning to the vines in the region.The hours of sunlight are somewhat restricted, which contributes to the coolness of the climate and microclimate of the vineyards as well as the late ripening of fruit.
The water is the clearest, cleanest and coldest in Australia. It originates from abundant rainfall (700-1250mm a year). The fresh rainfall fills many lakes and reservoirs as well as the mountain aquifers, which exude from the earth in the many natural springs of the Alps. In addition to the rainfall, much of the water comes from melting snow in the spring, supplying pure water for drip irrigation of the vineyards perched on the rocky slopes of the fertile valleys. The abundant water also ensures the air is filled with fogs/mists each morning providing moisture (dew) on the leaves most autumn mornings.