Colmar Estate is the result of a life-long dream by Bill Shrapnel to own a vineyard one day. The cool climate of our gorgeous, high altitude site provides perfect conditions for producing the finest quality grapes. These are exclusively hand-picked and crafted into single-vineyard wines of rare character and style.
Colmar Estate is a 6-hectare vineyard nestled in the slopes of Mount Canobolas in the Orange Region. At an altitude of 980 metres it is one of the highest vineyards in Australia and a unique site to grow high quality wine grapes. The cool, continental climate of Colmar Estate is similar to those in some of the classic wine regions of France that have inspired us, such as Burgundy and Alsace. Most of our blocks of vines sit on a north-facing slope, ideal for making the most of the sunshine in a cool climate. The vineyard has weathered volcanic soils of moderate fertility, which drain well.
The first vines were planted in the vineyard in 1991 in what is now unimaginatively called Block 1. The chardonnay and pinot noir vines in this block are now nearly three decades old and they do what exactly what old vines are supposed to do – produce moderate yields of premium quality fruit. The remainder of vineyard was planted over the next few years, though some of the red varieties chosen proved unsuitable for the cool site. We grafted these to white varieties and pinot noir when we purchased the vineyard in 2013.
All of the wines that appear under the Colmar Estate label are made from grapes we grow ourselves on the home vineyard. We have a singular focus on quality so we do things the old-fashioned way – pruning the vines by hand, lavishing attention on the vineyard during the growing season and finally picking the grapes by hand. All this is to ensure we present our winemakers with pristine, perfectly ripened fruit, the essential starting point for all great wines.