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The heat of the Goulburn Valley or the chill of the adjoining mountain country? Or a modicum of each? Such is the dilemma facing the winemakers of each region. The Goulburn Valley winemakers find that the Range fruit adds elegance and style to their sturdier wines, while elegance is seen by Strathbogie Ranges as the essence of their wine. It is not for alcoholic strength that Domaine Chandon has a vineyard in this region. Though there were vineyards in the Strathbogie Ranges in the early 20th century, none survived, and the region’s modern wine history dates from the mid 1970s when Dr Peter Tisdall planted a vineyard on the granite escarpment of Mt Helen, high above Avenel. Since then vineyard development has proceeded albeit at a fairly cautious pace. Today the major vineyard developments within the region are those of Dominion Wines, Plunkett’s and Domaine Chandon. The soils of the Ranges, generally granitic and rather acidic (pH 4-5), are deep, moderately alluvial or colluvial sand and sandy loams, containing ironstone gravel and quartz over clay. Its lower north-western parts adjoining Euroa are quite warm and suitable for full bodied red wines but as the terrain rises to the east, it becomes much cooler and more suitable for finer table wines. The ample rainfall occurs principally in winter to early spring. Spring frosts are an occasional hazard, as are hot northerly winds during ripening. Phylloxera is an ever present threat, necessitating planting on resistant rootstocks. – Description from Wine Australia

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