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Fowles Wine

Fowles Wine

Fowles Wine is family owned and the first Victorian winery to win the VISY Great Australian Shiraz Challenge trophy for Australia's Best Shiraz in 2010. Whilst winning many of the best 'traditional' awards in the Australian wine scene and being named a "Winery to Watch" by Wine Spectator, the VISY award was significant because it was judged by legendary winemaker Stephen Henschke. More recently the star offer featured today, the Are You Game Shiraz from the outstanding 2012 vintage was named in Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2014.The vineyards and winery are located in the dramatic granite landscape of the Strathbogie Ranges wine region, Victoria, Australia. The rugged and beautiful Strathbogie Ranges are located an hour and a half drive north east of Melbourne, just north of the Yarra Valley and east of Heathcote. The vineyards are peppered with massive ancient granite boulders, at elevations between 430 and 550 metres above sea level. The soils in the family vineyards are comprised of decomposed granite, interdispersed with massive granite outcrops. Technically speaking, the soil is sandy clay loam overlying granite and Callabonna clay bedrock - the soils are remarkably even across the vineyards. Ancient, nutrient poor and free-draining, these soils are great for grapes because the vines put their energy into fruit development (its means of survival), rather than canopy.The climate in the Strathbogie Ranges is cool with a January mean temperature of 19.5C. However, an almost constant wind whistles through the vines up here ensuring good air circulation in the grapes, reducing the risk of frost damage in early spring and mildew in summer. The location of the Strathbogie Ranges, north of Great Dividing range, means the vineyards experience strong diurnal weather patterns ? warm days, cool nights. These conditions allow the fruit to gradually ripen over a longer period of time accumulating the right balance of sugars and acid whilst building intense flavour and colour. The lower rainfall (average annual rainfall is 700mm) and quick draining soils mean the vines have dry feet (vines don't like their roots constantly soaked) and as a result produce low yielding, flavourful fruit.The style and character of Fowles Wine reflects this cool climate home. The white wines have great fruit intensity, minerality and are light and fresh. The red wines are highly perfumed, intensely coloured and powerful, yet restrained and elegant.The Are you Game and Ladies Who Shoot Their Lunch wines are very food friendly - the key idea seems to be to produce wines with the texture and intensity of flavour that will match with game meats. They are made with grapes grown in Matt's coolest vineyard sites, making for a finished wine that has more acidity and fragrance than many Oz wines - the perfect foil for the intensity of game meat. Matt Fowles explains that "I'm a keen hunter and eater of game meats," he tells me. "The texture and flavour is so different from farmed animals, and we are trying to recreate that difference, and something of the textures and flavours, in the range."