Halliday Wine Companion Rhone White Home-Grown

Beechworth’s Indigo Vineyard wines begin with superb grapes. As specialist grape-growers first and foremost, Rob Hawkings says their winemaking process is characterised by a focus on sustainability, low-impact techniques and careful fruit-picking. 

Q: How do you approach making Rhone white varieties? 

A: “Our preferred style has lots of lovely aromatics, with hints of apricots and peaches plus a zing of citrus. We know that we have to keep the fruit perfectly clean in the vineyard and pick it just ripe; in 2017 we added a new hogshead and this played an integral role in bringing out the fabulous characters.” 

Q: What differentiates Rhone whites from other white varieties? 

A: “The distinguishing features of Rhone whites are the aromatics and phenolics. At Indigo Vineyard, we grow roussanne and viognier. The key for us is to avoid the overripe apricots that are too often the hallmark of viognier. In my lifetime, viognier went from just a few hectares in Condrieu, where it loves the granite-rich soils, to right across the world and in Beechworth.”