AZ Joker, 50-year history of vineyard

Shelmerdine Mitchellstown Vineyards, Nagambie Lakes, Central Victoria, Australia



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The Shelmerdine have had a long association with the Nagambie Lakes region in Central Victoria since 1969.

In the mid 1960s, restaurateur, hotelier and entrepreneur Ross Shelmerdine returned from California inspired by the Napa Valley winery and tourism industry. His enthusiasm led to the creation of Mitchelton – a 115 hectare winery and tourism complex. Ross commissioned renowned Melburnian architect Robin Boyd and viticulturist Colin Preece of Seppelt to design the estate.

The family’s viticultural plantings comprise two premium sites – the original 1969 Block and the Probst Block (planted in 1997), consisting of classic varieties Cabernet, Merlot, Shiraz, Chardonnay, Riesling and Tempranillo on 38 hectares (100 acres).

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Nagambie Lakes (Geographical Indicator) is considered a sub region of the Goulburn Valley in Central Victoria. The mainly flat country comprises massive white-trunked eucalyptus trees, diverse bird life and an expansive inland series of lakes, billabongs and lagoons surrounding the Goulburn River. These waterways provide a mesoclimate with, a natural cooling effect that assists the vine canopy and grape development during long hot summers.

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Sustainable farming is employed at this site where the vines grow in the red and brown sandy clay loam soils. Abundant water supply is provided by virtue of proximity to the Goulburn River. This ensures continuously generous yielding fruit that retains balanced aroma, colour and flavour.

From Vintage 2015, modernizing the site with state of the art irrigation technology for frost protection and precision water usage. Fruit has continued to be provided to Mitchelton and AZ Master Wines.