Yarra Yering - Château de Fonbel
The brainchild of slightly eccentric, multi degreed, Dr of Philosophy Dr Bailey Carrodus, Yarra Yering Bordeaux and Rhone style blends have reached cult status and won international acclaim since their beginnings in 1969. Wine production in Yarra Valley had been strong in the mid and late 1800’s and into the early part of the 20th Century but rapidly declined due to economic and social pressures. It took the genius vision of Dr Carrodus to bring this region back into life. After searching for the perfect vineyard site that would be capable of creating wines of sophistication and elegance, consistent to the style that he fell in love with whilst completing his Doctor of Philosophy at Queens College Oxford. Having gained additional degrees in horticulture and winemaking, Carrodus is now credited as being a driving force in reviving winemaking in the now celebrated Yarra Valley.
After undertaking an in-depth study of the best vineyard sites on a tour across France, Spain, Italy and Portugal, he discovered Yarra Valley after accepting a position at Melbourne University and, taking full advantage of his botany students there, allegedly masterminded many field trips to Yarra Valley for his students to study the plant life, soils and typography of the region. He finally discovered the now legendary Yarra Yering site at the foot of the Warramate Hills that had good drainage, all day exposure to the sun and was high enough to avoid frosts and Dr Carrodus’ eccentricity and sometimes controversial methods gained him a reputation throughout the industry, often pouring away an entire batch and starting again. In one vintage he tipped away a thousand litres of Pinot Noir and recalled his entire red wine production offering a full refund in another vintage. These methods gained him a reputation for eccentricity but his unrelenting drive for quality awarded a reputation for excellence and he rapidly become one of Australia’s most celebrated winemakers. Sadly, Dr Carrodus passed away in 2008 but his philosophy continues today through winemaker Sarah Crowe, who’s talents as a wine maker were recognised in 2017 when she was named Wine Maker of the Year by James Halliday. The rest of the story is simply told through his iconic wines.
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