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High on the vine
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Stephen Shelmerdine had his eye on Kilfinora for a number of years. After buying a nearby vineyard in the upper Yarra Valley in 1989, Stephen knew the cattle property would be ideal to expand his operation. In 1998 he jumped at the chance to buy the property when it came up for sale. “I value the Yarra Valley’s cool climate,” Stephen said. “It is a very good site, with deep red soil and good water security. It is a true high-altitude vineyard. Being on the slopes is an advantage because the soils are free-draining and the grapes retain their natural acids well.” Located at Woori Yallock, 70km from Melbourne, Kilfinora has 27 hectares of vines, the varieties range from pinot noir, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and merlot. Stephen said production levels varied but Kilfinora was capable of producing up to 250 tonnes at peak times.