2013 Domaine Epis Pinot Noir. Domaine Epis is a small but top producer of cool climate wines. Located in the Macedon Ranges, about 1 hours drive up the Calder Highway from Melbourne. Domaine Epis grow four varieties, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Domaine Epis releases only three wines each vintage, so long as they are of exceptional quality, in tough or difficult vintages the fruit is not picked or the wine is not made. Alec Epis works very hard in the vineyard with canopy management and the vines themselves, which results in excellent fruit and of course great wine!
Domaine Epis has two vineyards, the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are both grown at the Woodend Vineyard which is situated on Black Forest Road, virtually at the base of Mount Macedon. The second vineyard, known as The Williams Vineyard is located about 30kms up the Calder Highway in Kyneton and this is where Domain Epis grows Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The Woodend Vineyard is planted on an underlying slope facing east with the rows running North – South. Kyneton is not as hilly but has the same planting setup. Both vineyards have the same soil structure which is half a metre of rich top soil – 5 metres of Clay and followed by many metres of Basalt. This soil mixture is perfect for growing grapes in a cool climate.
Bud Burst is generally around the middle of September and the fruit is picked around mid April. The vines are only watered prior to flowering in early December, this helps the vines and the fruit for the growing season ahead. The main reason Alex Epis doesn’t water any more is that he likes the vines to stress a little, this helps with flavours and structures when the wine is being made.
The Epis way – “It doesn’t matter how good a winemaker is, you cannot make a great wine out of grapes that have been overwatered or overcropped”.
Domaine Epis purposely crop at one and a half tonnes per acre as this enables them to get the flavours and ripeness required to make terrific wine.
Alex Epis is a former Champion Essendon Footballer and butcher in Moonee Ponds.