Sunshine Creek Vineyard

Set within the verduous hills of the Yarra Valley, one of the most exciting wine regions in Australia, Sunshine Creek is within an hour’s drive from Melbourne. With original plantings dating back to the 1980’s our vineyards varietal focus is Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

These varieties allow us to work in harmony with the Yarra Valley’s cool climate where particular attention is paid to our yield that is kept at a low to medium level, then tended to with precision by hand. Our dedication, respect for the land and extensive experience all help to develop our range of premium quality wines of distinction that are unique to Sunshine Creek.

One of the most recent expansions at Yarra Glen in the Yarra Valley has been the establishment of the Sunshine Creek winery. Sunshine Creek is the venture of packaging magnate James Zhou, whom over many years has worked with Grant Burge, Philip Shaw, Philip Jones, Pat Carmody and Mario Marson was looking for a site to produce wines under his own brand to sell domestically and overseas. In 2009 Mario Marson advised James regarding the purchase of Martha’s Vineyard at Yarra Glen. This vineyard was established in the 1980s and had previously supplied fruit to Southcorp and Sticks Winery.

James was impressed with this site and the age of the vines. He recognised that with its unique micro-climate, ideal soil type and with favourable growing conditions this site had the potential to produce world class wines.

Once the vineyard was purchased an extensive program of grafting was undertaken. New clonal material was introduced to improve the quality of the fruit produced from this vineyard. Sunshine Creek Vineyard produces three wines, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and a Cabernet blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. A Heathcote Shiraz is also produced.

Initially this vineyard was set up for mechanisation but it has now been converted to a vertical shoot positioned vineyard. Today the grapes are hand harvested and the resulting improvement in fruit quality has been evident in the wines produced in recent years.

In 2011 Andrew Smith was appointed vineyard manager to continue the work of the early years. Mario and Andrew work in conjunction to ensure that premium quality fruit is produced at Sunshine Creek.

In 2014 the construction of a new state of the art winery was commenced to be completed by the end of 2016. The establishment of this 275 tonnes winery is the next exciting stage in the Sunshine Creek story.

Grape growing

The vineyards on the Sunshine Creek estate comprise of 7 varieties over 22 hectares of vineyard area. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Of these varieties we have several clones of each bringing a level of complexity to the wines. Yields are maintained at a low to moderate level to further aid flavor development. Viticulturally speaking we follow sustainable vineyard practices encouraging mid-row grass growth to support beneficial insects which is slashed and discharged under the vine mid-December to aid in water conservation. The vineyards have a southerly aspect which reduces heat build-up on the vineyard floor. Soil type is duplex clay loam typical of the valley floor and the vineyard lies in a slight rain shadow of the Christmas Hills receiving approximately 600mm annually. The vines are trained using VSP (Vertical Shoot Positioning) to maximize air flow around the bunch zone thereby reducing disease pressure.

Winemaking

Chief winemaker Mario Marson is influenced by the European style of winemaking. At Sunshine Creek he seeks to bring the traditions of the Old World to winemaking in the New.

Mario’s formative years in the wine industry were involved in viticulture in the Yarra Valley where he recognised the interconnection between climate, soil and vine growth and their profound influence on the quality of the wines produced. With a background in both viticulture and winemaking, Mario applies this holistic approach to the wines produced at Sunshine Creek.

As a winemaker, Mario seeks to maintain this connection by regularly walking through the vineyards to observe vine development and periodically tasting the fruit as it progresses to maturity. As well as tasting the sugar fruit flavours of the berries, Mario strongly recognises the importance of the tannin structure of the berries as an integral component of the final wine product.

Mario seeks to create wines that are characteristic of their variety and region. Sunshine Creek’s wines are both balanced and elegant, crafted to be enjoyed at any stage during their bottle maturation.

The Yarra Valley is on the cusp of Melbourne located just one hour’s drive from the CBD and is Victoria’s most visited wine region,  offering its famous restaurants and wine bars ample cuisine friendly wines. Having complex topography and steep slopes at altitudes of 160 – 1,540ft facing all directions, the uppermost slopes are cool and most of the valley enjoys cool nights. Rainfall varies from 600mm in the valley floor to over 1000mm in the upper Yarra with harvest starting in mid-late Feb for sparkling through to mid-April. The soils vary from grey sandy clay loam in the valley floor to vivid red volcanic earth in parts of the upper Yarra.

With a proud and rich history of grape growing and winemaking dating back to the first settlers in 1838 the Yarra Valley reached a moderately height of fame around 1881. Enjoying a rebirth through the 1960’s afforded by a small group of Doctor’s establishing their own individual vineyards, with production being on a small scale setting impeccable standards they built a reputation right throughout and into the 1980’s of silky, age worthy blends. Until the 1990’s the Yarra Valley was an exclusive region and home of the small winery, most of them producing wines in the super-premium category. Today the Yarra Valley enjoys national and international acceptance as one of Australia’s foremost fine-wine regions. By 2012 the number of wineries was over 140, and grape harvest sufficient to produce over 1,200,000 cases.

With around 62% red and 38% white, by 2012 the total of all varieties covered 2352ha. The principal grape varieties in the Yarra Valley are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot. Pinot Noir is distinctly one of the Yarra Valley’s best suited varieties, given today the Yarra Valley is even better known for its Chardonnays compliments of its naturally cool conditions in the elevated southern end and Cabernet enjoying the warmer valley floor.

Mario Marson

Chief winemaker at Sunshine Creek, Mario Marson, has been extensively involved in the Australian wine industry since 1981. His qualifications include a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from La Trobe University and Bachelor of Applied Science (Wine Science) from Charles Sturt University.

For 19 years Mario was employed in the Yarra Valley as a viticulturalist and winemaker. This included 15 years at the renowned Mount Mary Vineyard working with respected vigneron, the late Doctor John Middleton.

From 1999 to 2004, Mario worked at Jasper Hill Vineyard whilst establishing his own vineyard, Vinea Marson, at Heathcote in central Victoria.


Mario’s overseas work experience includes vintages at Domaine de la Pousse d’Or in Burgundy with Gerard Potel, Isola e Olena in Tuscany and Proprietà Sperino in Piedmont with Paolo De Marchi.

Since 2008 Mario has worked as a consultant for Mr James Zhou and in 2012 was employed as senior winemaker for Mr Zhou’s exciting new enterprise Sunshine Creek at Yarra Glen in the Yarra Valley.

Andrew Smith

Andrew’s involvement in the wine industry began in 1981 when he was given the opportunity to develop a vineyard’s on what was then his parents land just north of Lakes Entrance in Eastern Victoria. Over the ensuing years he worked at his neighbor’s vineyard and winery (Lulgra Winery) and studied Viticulture by correspondence at Wagga Agricultural College.

Andrew’s neighbor’s eventually retired from winemaking and he purchased half of their property, which included a small vineyard and well designed multi level winery. Over the following years Andrew expanded production and focused on exploiting the strong tourist market in the Gippsland Lakes. This involved building a restaurant and further increasing his holdings to include direct access to the Lakes so to enable cruises and private boats to visit.


After 19 vintages change beckoned and he moved to Melbourne with his wife and 2 year old twin boys. Looking to recharge his batteries Andrew worked for several years as a casual storeman before being offered a job as an assistant manager at a premium Yarra Valley vineyard. After one year Andrew was promoted to manager, where he stayed for almost 10 years and during that time they shifted from being a supplier of grapes to several premium labels and onto creating their very own much sought after range.

Eventually by happenstance a change was in the air and Andrew found himself making the move to Sunshine Creek where he and Mario Marson are developing the vineyard into one of the premium sites in the Yarra. They have grafted selected clonal material on the existing old vines enabling the craft of a fine Cabernet, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. They have a singular purpose in creating the finest quality wine possible. After only a few vintages we are seeing the benefits of a personalized, site and variety specific approach to viticulture.

Benjamin Roberts

Ben’s career in the wine industry began in 2000. Whilst working for his families clothing and design business based in Perth, influenced by his elder brother’s passion for collecting wine worked casually at Perth Liquor Markets on Hay St where the range was quality focused and of a fine wine caliber. A planned month long stay to Melbourne in 2002 lead to Ben unintentionally dropping anchor where he started work in the beginnings of Old & Rare Wine House in Southbank spearheading corporate sales, marketing the business and assisting in the export department offices.


In 2004 through a network of friends Ben was offered an opportunity to join Australia’s largest nationwide automotive aftermarket suppliers as Victorian Sales Manager. Here this role involved extensive travel and managing over 250 government and corporate accounts. Looking towards the automotive industry but with his eyes still on the wine industry Ben also worked on weekends working the graveyard shifts at The Railway Hotel in Windsor. Eventually Europe beckoned and Ben took time out to travel Western Europe extensively for a period of 4 months. Upon return Ben resigned from the hussle of corporate life and in 2009 began a management role at his local, a stone’s throw from his home, Sunshine Creek’s first liquor retail outlet in Camberwell where Ben focused on offering a boutique fine wine range and developed an E-commerce website listing over 350 products.

In 2013 Ben moved into a role based out of Sunshine Creek’s Hawthorn office assisting in the exporting of wine to China, now the Marketing Manager Ben exports all the wine produced from the vineyard to China and takes care of the local market. Having travelled to China regularly over the years for the company since 2010 attending the major wine shows in the first and second tier cities Ben also works closely with our Chinese agency in a support role.

If not on the road or in the office you might find Ben at the vineyard on the forklift or tractor and under vines immersing himself in everything wine related. Ben is in his third year of study at the Australian Center for Chinese Studies (ACCS Institute), regularly attends industry courses on design software, import and export skills, is a First Aider and is also a member of the Australian Chamber of International Trade.

James Zhou

Working closely over the years in partnership with Vinea Marson, Grant Burge, Philip Shaw and Philip Jones sharing in the experience learned from each other, James is now fulfilling his wish to grow and make wine in the Yarra Valley and to promote and build even more awareness of the Yarra Valley internationally. James works in union with neighbors and local Yarra Valley vineyards taking the Yarra Valley status internationally to even greater heights. In 2013 James was awarded Honours as Associate of Wine Protector - France Bordeaux Region.

Summer Tian

Summer leads the team and has extensive experience in the wine industry having owned and operated her own wine clubs and retail shops for many years abroad and in Melbourne. She knows the ins and outs of the industry bringing a wealth of knowledge to the daily runnings of the operations at the vineyard and winery. Knowing full well you cannot make good wine without good fruit, encourages patience and a hands on approach to all staff.

At Sunshine Creek we regard our land as our most valuable resource. We believe our endeavors in protecting our natural resource is evident in the consistent high quality of the grapes coming out of our vineyards, this is mirrored in the quality of our wines, expressing a sense of place.

We encourage local provenance regrowth along riparian zones which gives us a healthy level of biodiversity. This in turn results in a vineyard full of beneficial insects offering us a natural form of pest control. The need for potentially dangerous pesticide use is reduced to virtually zero, with all the spiders, lace wings and lady birds to name but a few taking care of things for us.

In addition to the riparian zone we also encourage native grasses to grow and to seed along our mid rows, this provides an excellent food source and environment for insects. Over 30 years ago vineyards were often devoid of spiders, long grass and mulch, nowadays it would be surprising if you do not walk through a few golden orb spider webs.

Water use is minimized by the use of undervine mulch, in the form of the long native grasses being slashed and discharged under each vine row. At least 50mm of mulch is applied under vine in this way every year. Self-generated compost, comprising of grape marc, saw dust and chook manure is broadcast across the vineyard each winter after aerating the vineyard floor with a spiked roller. The waste water generated by wine production is used to irrigate our orchards, pastures and extensive rose gardens.

Where possible traffic in the vineyard is kept to minimum by the use of multi row equipment and rotation of the “drive rows”. This reduces soil compaction enhancing soil health by retention of structure as well as reducing diesel usage by up to 40%.

The Sunshine Creek winery is designed and built to conserve and save energy. The production hall has double skin panel walls totally separated from each other preventing any thermal connection between them. The production hall has also been lined with cool room panels, in effect it is a building within a building. The south facing wall of production has thermomass panels up to 3 metres high, this is a sandwich construction of two concrete panels with high performance extruded polystyrene in between. Above this is two skins of 16mm Danpalon polycarbonate sheeting that allows natural light into the building, but not the heat.


We have Industrial extraction fans through the ceiling to work in conjunction with automatically operating windows for natural ventilation when sensors are activated. Our barrel vaults are a concrete and steel structure buried under 500mm of earth over 200mm thick high performance extruded polystyrene. Both ends of the vaults have vents for crossflow when needed and all waste is treated and contained on site organically.

Online purchases can be made using our Camberwell Retail Shop button

Estate Chardonnay 2012

Tasting note

This Chardonnay is matured in French oak casks for 12 months. It is pale straw-green in colour and has aromas of white stone fruit, grapefruit and cashews with a touch of struck match. It displays good acidity, fruit complexity and length complemented by barrel ferment oak characters.

Growing season

Another wet start to the season, which certainly kept everyone on their toes with the possibility of a repeat season to 2011 looming. Once flowering was completed, the rain backed away leaving a mild, dry lead in to harvest. Its often the period from the start of January that can make or break a season, from a quality perspective, with the potential for heatwaves (2009) and floods (2011) ever present. 2012 was ideal, giving sublime Chardonnay, richly coloured Pinot Noir and complex, beautifully structured Cabernet Sauvignon.

Winemaking

The fruit was hand harvested and was then whole bunch pressed with SO2 added. The juice was cold settled for 24 hours and racked with the incorporation of lees. Selected yeast was added and the juice was transferred to French oak barriques, of which 30% were new. The fermentation lasted 15 days and was matured without MLF. It was racked in late February 2013 and kept on lees for 12 months, then filtered and bottled.

$AU 45.00

Region Yarra Valley
Block 6
Clones 76, 95, 96, 277 and Mendoza
Alc 12.5%
Soil Duplex Silurian - silty clay loam
Winemaker Mario Marson
Viticulturist Andrew Smith

Estate Pinot Noir 2012

Tasting note

This Pinot Noir is matured in French oak casks for 12 months. This wine is crimson in colour with aromas of red berries and dried herbs. These flavours carry through on the palate with well-integrated French oak and a long finish.

Growing season

Another wet start to the season, which certainly kept everyone on their toes with the possibility of a repeat season to 2011 looming. Once flowering was completed, the rain backed away leaving a mild, dry lead in to harvest. Its often the period from the start of January that can make or break a season, from a quality perspective, with the potential for heatwaves (2009) and floods (2011) ever present. 2012 was ideal, giving sublime Chardonnay, richly coloured Pinot Noir and complex, beautifully structured Cabernet Sauvignon.

Winemaking

The fruit was destemmed with a small addition of SO2. It was then transferred into variable capacity tanks where it was inoculated with selected yeasts. Skin management techniques of pump over and hand plunging were employed. The fruit was pressed, settled and transferred to selected French oak barriques. It underwent malo-lactic fermentation in barriques. It was matured in this oak, 30% new, for 12 months. The wine was then blended, lightly filtered and bottled.

$AU 45.00

Region Yarra Valley
Block 2, 3 and 4
Clones MV6, 777, Pommard
Alc 13.0%
Soil Duplex Silurian - silty clay loam
Winemaker Mario Marson
Viticulturist Andrew Smith

Estate Cabernet 2012

Tasting note

This Cabernets is a blend of 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 0.5% Cabernet Franc, 2%, Malbec and 0.5% Petit Verdot. It is matured in French oak casks for 18 months. This wine is dark crimson in colour and is laced with red and black fruits and quality French oak. Its medium-bodied, elegant palate exhibits cassis and redcurrant fruit and has fine tannins and an integrated oak finish.

Growing season

Another wet start to the season, which certainly kept everyone on their toes with the possibility of a repeat season to 2011 looming. Once flowering was completed, the rain backed away leaving a mild, dry lead in to harvest. Its often the period from the start of January that can make or break a season, from a quality perspective, with the potential for heatwaves (2009) and floods (2011) ever present. 2012 was ideal, giving sublime Chardonnay, richly coloured Pinot Noir and complex, beautifully structured Cabernet Sauvignon.

Winemaking

This wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, with each variety fermented separately.The fruit was destemmed and crushed with a small addition of SO2. Selected yeasts were added. Fermentation techniques of pump over, hand plunging and rack and return were employed. The wine was pressed and transferred to selected French barriques, 30% new, where it underwent malo-lactic fermentation. The wine was matured in oak for 18 months. It was then blended and remained in tank before being lightly filtered and bottled.

$AU 45.00

Region Yarra Valley
Block 1, 4, 5 and 7
Varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot
Alc 13.0%
Soil Duplex Silurian - silty clay loam
Winemaker Mario Marson
Viticulturist Andrew Smith

Heathcote Shiraz 2012

Tasting note

This Shiraz was made from selected grapes from the renowned Heathcote region in central Victoria. It is matured in French oak casks for 15 months. This wine has a deep hue and displays a bouquet of intense black fruits, licorice, dark chocolate and pepper spice. This rich Shiraz, with its intense mouthfeel, has black fruit flavours complexed by tar and licorice and persistent fine oak tannins.

Growing season

Another wet start to the season, which certainly kept everyone on their toes with the possibility of a repeat season to 2011 looming. Once flowering was completed, the rain backed away leaving a mild, dry lead in to harvest. Its often the period from the start of January that can make or break a season, from a quality perspective, with the potential for heatwaves (2009) and floods (2011) ever present. 2012 was ideal, giving sublime Chardonnay, richly coloured Pinot Noir and complex, beautifully structured Cabernet Sauvignon.

Winemaking

This fruit was grown in the renowned Heathcote region of Victoria by viticulturalist Ian Rathjen. The fruit was destemmed and crushed with a small addition of SO2. It was chilled for two days and then selected yeasts were added. Fermentation techniques of pump over, hand plunging and rack and return were employed. After pressing, the wine was transferred to selected French oak barriques of which 30% were new. The wine was aged for 15 months and then blended, lightly filtered and bottled.

$AU 45.00

Region Heathcote
Block 7 Bernie and Sue
Clones Mount Ida and PT23
Alc 14.5%
Soil Cambrian, clay loam
Winemaker Mario Marson
Viticulturist Ian Rathjen
Union Dining Richmond - Kooyong Cellars Kooyong - Lucy Lius Melbourne - Deja Vue Melbourne - Woody P Melbourne - Papa Goose Melbourne - Philippe Melbourne - Becco Melbourne - Rumi Brunswick East - Sunshine Creek Cellars Camberwell - Plume Doncaster - Rose Diner Port Melbourne - The Smith Prahran - Zarus Liquor Balwyn North

Sunshine Creek cellar door completion due late 2017

Vinexpo Bordeaux June 2015

In June of 2015 Sunshine Creek held a large stand at one of the world’s biggest global wine and spirit events, Vinexpo in Bordeaux. Being in the mix of the major players, decision makers and estate owners in person our goal was to build stronger relationships with the overseas market and promote Australian wine to the vast number of international visitors attending. Over 5 days Vinexpo allowed us to keep up with the latest international market trends, attend seminars, conferences, tastings and food and wine pairings held by world renowned experts. The nightly networking events held within Bordeaux city center were also a great place to mingle and make new friends and contacts, and discover the odd bistrot (pub). The interest at our stand at Vinexpo drew large crowds, this was one of the benefits of being one of only a few Australian vineyard and winery stands. The genuine excitement for Australian wine and the reputation for quality we have was very apparent from specialist retailers, importers, major hotel and restaurant chains and E-commerce businesses as well as the international media that took a special interest in our stand. It was great to see adventurous local wine students as well as students that flew in from all over the world. Introducing them to our wares and the Australian wine regions was very rewarding. Our programme included food and wine pairing classes conducted by our own resident Kate McIntyre MW and our Gala dinner held at James’ Chateau Renon in Tabanac.

With us at our stand were Domaine A, Punch, Jasper Hill, Wild Duck Creek, Hentley Farm, Prancing Horse, Preveli, John Duval, Cullen, Goodman, Yeringberg, Castagna, Mount Mary, Moorooduc Estate, Philip Shaw, Vinea Marson, Craiglee, K1, Bannockburn and Del Rios.

Hong Kong HKTDC Wine Fair November 2014

In November of 2014 Sunshine Creek attended the premier wine event in Asia, the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair. Known as the consummate spring board into the Asian market the 2014 HKIWSF had 1007 exhibitors with a total of 19,926 buyers alone attending. For this wine show we invited our Yarra Valley friends to join us, goal being to promote the regional profile of the Yarra Valley in Asia as well as hang out together in Hong Kong for the week and have a great time, which karaoke afforded us! All together Mount Mary, Yeringberg, Yarra Yarra, Mac Forbe, Toolangi, Yarra Yering, Warramate, Punch, Bird on a Wire, Goodman Wines, Jamsheed, Thousand Candles, Medhurst, Hoddles Creek, Timo Meyer, Luke Lambert and Dominique Portet producers joined us. Also was Hargreaves Hill Brewery, Coldstream Brewery, and Four pillars Gin, food producers included Floridia Cheese, Crumbs Biscuits, Yarra Valley Gourmet Foods, and Yarra Valley Caviar. Kate McIntyre MW came with us upon invitation from James to assist in the promotion of our stands range of products as well as attend our Gala Dinner held at the Renaissance Hotel. Also attending in support of us and our aim to create more awareness of the Yarra Valley in Asia was Jeremy Oliver, Philippe Mouchel and Taliessen Reaburn the Australian Trade Commissioner for Hong Kong and Macau. Other producers with us were close friends from Craiglee, Del Rios, Grant Burge, K1 (Geoff Hardy wines), Maison Galhaud, Philip Shaw, Roc De Boisseaux and Vinea Marson.

Our stand was the largest wine stand at HKTDC 2014 and received much attention from the local and international media. Kate McIntyre is also the 2014 Sunshine Creek Karaoke Champion!

Pre Hong Kong Wine Fair BBQ at Sunshine Creek October 2014

In October 2014 in preparation of the HKTDC Wine Fair we invited all the Yarra Valley vineyards attending the show over for a BBQ, we also had some regional media, Wine Styles magazine Chief Editor Mr Eddy Chiu and HKTDC Director Australia and New Zealand Ms Bonnie Shek. This was an opportunity to get together pre show and over lunch with some beverages we discussed the importance of working together to promote the Yarra Valley in Asia. After months of organizing this was the first time we had all come together in the one place and the Yarra turned on the perfect weather for us.

China (Chengdu) Food and Drinks Fair March 2014

In March 2014, Chengdu in China’s Sichuan province welcomed its 90th China (Chengdu) Food and Drinks Fair (CFDF).  The sheer scale of the event across Chengdu’s central business district is one you have to see to believe. For one week the city is a plethora of wine events turning into a wine fare mecca, from hotels to restaurants, exhibition centers and halls almost in every main area of the city you could find some sort of wine themed event. For three days we shared a stand at the Kempinski Hotel with our portfolio counterparts Grant Burge, Craiglee, Philip Shaw, Bannockburn, Del Rios, Maison Galhaud, K1 (Geoff Hardy) and Vinea Marson where the first 6 floors of the hotel were turned into a wine exhibition center. Then from the 28th – 31st moved to the Century City New International Convention and Exhibition Center. This fair is the largest exhibition and trade show in mainland China’s alcohol and food industry, a very influential exhibition seeing over 220’000 people come through the expo in just over 4 days and even for China these are massive figures. This was a great platform to exhibit our wines and showcase what the Yarra Valley has to offer stylistically. Meeting with our existing buyers from the Sichuan province was a very good experience for us, in an ever changing market understanding their needs more as well as understanding more how they place the product for sale and who the consumers are. It was at this wine fair you really comprehend how important it is to attend these events that bridge together producers and purchasers.

Besides all the work done on what is an extensive wine show everyone thoroughly enjoyed Chengdu, the people were extremely nice and courteous and their hospitality made us feel more than welcome. We definitely felt more relaxed in this city and Chengdu’s reputation for having a slower speed of life suited us well as this was a 6 day wine fair that did require some half time R and R, a day off to stroll the inner network of side streets with traditional tea houses and restaurants was the perfect way to re-energize. Though maybe next time when closing down the stand we won’t post we are giving away free Sunshine Creek kangaroo fluffy toys on our WeChat as it created a near chaos in our section of the exhibition, but it drew the crowd! Being the spicy hot pot capital of China our pepper and chilli tasting experience was taken to a whole new level we look forward to attending again next year!

ProWine Shanghai November 2013

In November 2013 Sunshine Creek attended the first Shanghai ProWine event held at the Shanghai New International Expo Center. The Shanghai ProWine show featured exhibitors from Argentina, Chile, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Austria and other countries, waving the Aussie flag and representing the Yarra Valley was ourselves. Together with our Australian export partners being Philip Shaw Wines, Bannockburn, Del Rios, K1 by Geoff Hardy, Grant Burge and Craiglee ProWine provided the perfect platform to negotiate face to face with retailers and distributors. ProWine targets mostly the specialist wine stores and the independent food retailers, interestingly 32% of visitors where from outside shanghai and 12% visiting from outside of China. The majority sector visiting where from retail backgrounds (42%) followed by distributors and wholesalers, then hospitality. 570 exhibitors from 30 countries attended and over 7600 trade visitors came through to sample wine. A standout for ProWine is the immense variety of wine from so many different regions on show making it a more unique exhibition, a Chardonnay from India, Hampi Hills won best chardonnay at the expo from a panel of judges whom flew in from all parts of the world and trying it ourselves thought it was well deserved!

Guangzhou Import Export Fair June 2010

In June of 2010 Sunshine Creek began its Asia wine show campaign alongside friend and fellow winemaker Philip Shaw at the Guangzhou China Import and Export Fair Complex. Guangzhou is one of China’s largest economic cities and has an almost incomparable advantage in the wine market. No surprise we discovered many famous Chateau’ and brands on display here with their latest product. The visitor breakdown for this event was 40% importers, distributors and agencies, 30% are wholesalers, 20% are wine lovers and public customers and 10% are from restaurants, hotels, bars, service and other media. After attending this exhibition many dealers showed interest in our product and a genuine interest in Australian product alone was very high. The great thing about the Guangzhou Import Export Fair is that it attracts buyers not only from the key cities of Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai but also from 2nd and 3rd tier cities as well as fast growing consumer local markets. Notably we appreciated the awareness of visitors that Australian wine has a reputation as a quality product, albeit most visitors were only familiar with the major wine regions of Australia we realize that to be successful in China our campaign into the market there will need be a long term plan to not only raise awareness of our brand but also raise the awareness of the Yarra Valley.

Vintage 2008 and 2009

After aquiring the Marthas Vineyard which was established in the 1980's, in 2008 and 2009 we began to focus all our efforts to improve it, although challenges and difficulties went far beyond our original expectations. First of all we conducted a comprehensive inspection of around 50,000 grape vines over an area of 55 acres to ensure their basic health. Furthermore in order to achieve higher quality grapes, we adopted the trunk pruning method and VSP branches management method in a step by step project to support future development. In addition to other infrastructure projects we also reconstructed the pond to enlargen storage capacity and extended an irrigation system which laid the groundwork for future coordination.

Vintage 2010

After the devastating events of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, 2010 saw a return to a season of exceptionally high quality. Slightly warmer than ‘average’, with the timing of rainfall mitigating the need for additional irrigation. Excellent flowering conditions meant some additional fruit thinning was required to bring yields back down. We regard this as a critical activity which aids in flavour concentration. Excellent quality was achieved across all varieties.

Andrew Smith
Vineyard Manager

Vintage 2011

A season of seemingly never ending rain events, adding significant disease pressure to all our blocks. Early flavour development, due to the cool season, enabled picking at slightly lower baumes than 2010, which can be seen in a lighter colour in our Pinot Noirs while still displaying wonderful aromatic qualities. Careful, selective handling of the Cabernet Sauvignon has created a wine of finer structure than the 2010.

Andrew Smith
Vineyard Manager

Vintage 2012

Another wet start to the season, which certainly kept everyone on their toes with the possibility of a repeat season to 2011 looming. Once flowering was completed, the rain backed away leaving a mild, dry lead in to harvest. Its often the period from the start of January that can make or break a season, from a quality perspective, with the potential for heatwaves (2009) and floods (2011) ever present. 2012 was ideal, giving sublime Chardonnay, richly coloured Pinot Noir and complex, beautifully structured Cabernet Sauvignon.

Andrew Smith
Vineyard Manager

Vintage 2013

Reasonable winter rainfall set the vineyard up for a good start with even budburst in all varieties. As the season progressed it became apparent that rainfall was likely to be scarce, and by flowering in December we had in place our “dry season” strategy. This is designed to keep the soil cool under the vines, there by reducing vine stress, and encouraging longer than normal grasses to grow midrow, reducing moisture loss.

As vintage approached I heard many comments about the “early season”, up to two weeks ahead in some vineyards, and was interested in the potential timing of our harvest. As it turned out, our Pinot (the first one to be picked) came in on exactly the same day as last year. It was close to the same for all other varieties, the exception being Cabernet Sauvignon, which just needed a bit of “hang time” to broaden its flavours.

Andrew Smith
Vineyard Manager

Vintage 2014

A nice, even budburst saw the season off to a good start around late August for the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and mid September for the Cabernets. We experienced a particularly cool, windy and overcast Spring which coincided with the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay flowering, leading to a poor fruit set and low bunch weights. This effect was partially avoided by the later flowering Cabernets. Good early rains set the vines up for a good growing season through what can be a difficult time over the Xmas break in some years, thanks to the occasional passing thunderstorm. This season, however, was typically dry with warm days and cool nights. These climate characteristics help maintain good acid levels that aid flavour development in the wines.

As harvest approached our thoughts earlier in the season around the cool flowering conditions and the potential effect on yield came to fruition (Freudian slip?) with very low bunch weights recovered across all Pinot Noir and Chardonnay blocks. Flavours were, however, extremely good with lovely concentration, particularly in the Chardonnay. As expected, the later flowering Cabernets were effected with a slightly reduced yield but equally lovely flavours. So, in summary, there may not be a great deal of wine from 2014, but what there is should stand out.

Andrew Smith
Vineyard Manager

Vintage 2015

Things started moving in late August, as usual, with the Chardonnay budswell, closely followed by the Pinot Noir, with the Cabernets bringing up the rear a few weeks later.

We were blessed with mild weather right through the season. A nice change from last years cool wet spring! Temperatures didn’t go beyond 35C, and over 30C only a handful of times. Daily maximums were between 25 – 30C for most of January and February. Although typically dry over summer, the moderate temperatures allowed the vines to ripen the crop at a steady rate, free of sunburn and other potentially stressful events.

Flavours developed nicely, with a typical “lag phase” between sugar ripeness and flavour ripeness, particularly with the Cabernets. (This is when the sugar reading is appropriate for harvest, but the flavours disappear for a few days, before re appearing with gusto. It is then that we pick)

This should be a great vintage for a few “keepers”.

Andrew Smith
Vineyard Manager



Full Name
Email *
 

 Australia

Sunshine Creek Management Pty Ltd
822 Glenferrie Road
Hawthorn, Victoria 3122
M: 0432 718 364

China

Beijing Aohua Yangguang Wine Co., Ltd
15F Reignwood Center
8 YongAnLi, Jiangwai Ave
Chaoyang District
Beijing (100022)
China

Hong Kong

Sunshine International Wine Limited
Suite 3502, 35th Floor, Wu Chung House
213 Queens Road East
Wanchai, Hong Kong
T: (852) 3996 9525
E: sunshinecreekhk@gmail.com

Export inquiries - benjamin@sunshinecreek.com.au

Sunshine Creek Vineyard

350 Yarraview Road,
Yarra Glen, VIC 3174
M +61 (0)432 718 364
E info@sunshinecreek.com.au

 

 

Web Design by Gray Design Melbourne
Photography: Saville Coble, Blue Tree Studios

澳洲阳光酒庄位于距离墨尔本城市1小时车距的亚拉谷的茂密的山上,那里是澳洲最著名的葡萄酒产区之一。我们庄园从期初的1980年代开始主要生产以下几种葡萄品种: 赤霞珠,品丽珠,美乐,马尔贝克,小味而多,黑比诺和莎当妮。

这些品种很适合在亚拉谷寒冷的气候中生长。我们的葡萄产量小到中等,但是都是人工收割以提高葡萄质量。我们的敬业,对这片土地的尊重以及丰富的经验帮助我们酿造出澳洲阳光酒庄所独有的顶级葡萄酒。

历史

阳光酒庄的建成是亚拉谷最近以来最大的 一次扩展。2009年在马里奥马森的建议下,周先生买下了在亚拉谷的马萨葡萄园。马萨葡萄园建立于1980年代并曾经给Southcorp葡萄酒公司以及Sticks 酒庄提供葡萄。

周先生对这个庄园以及它古老的葡萄藤印象深刻。他意识到那里的微气候,优质的土壤以及良好的生长条件可以生产出高品质的世界级红酒。

买下这块葡萄园后,大规模的嫁接项目就开展了起来。 新的克隆材料被应用以改善果实的质量。阳光酒庄生产3种葡萄酒,包括莎当妮,黑比诺和赤霞珠混酿(赤霞珠,美乐,品丽珠)。阳光酒庄也生产希斯科特的西拉。

这个酒庄从期初的机械化生产转变为了“V”形架栽培模式。现在庄园的葡萄都是人工收割,提高了果实的质量。这在庄园最近几年生产的葡萄酒的质量上可以证实。

安德鲁史密斯在2011年被任命为庄园主管。他和马里奥共同协作确保阳光酒庄能生产出高品质的葡萄酒。

2014年,酒庄启动了建造最先进的葡萄园的工程,预计在15年底竣工。 这个275吨的新葡萄园将是阳光酒庄历史上的一个振奋人心的新开始。

亚拉谷

亚拉谷是一个坐落于墨尔本边缘的著名红酒产区,离墨尔本市区约一小时车程。那里有许多著名的餐馆及搭配不同菜肴饮用的红酒。它独有的复杂地势和约160-1550英尺海拔的陡坡带给这个地区凉爽的气候。亚拉谷的降雨量在600毫米(谷底)到1000毫米,丰收时节在2月底开始直到4月中。 谷底土壤肥沃呈灰土色而高处的土壤可呈鲜明的火山岩红色。

亚拉谷的著名而悠久的葡萄种植和酿酒历史可追溯到1838年殖民时期,大约从1881年左右它开始小负盛名。1960年代,在一群医生的带领下的亚拉谷走向了复兴。他/她们建立了自己的酒庄,小规模的生产高质量毫无瑕疵的葡萄,包括1980年代生产的柔滑余味悠长的赤霞珠,都给亚拉谷带来了良好的声誉。直到1990年代,亚拉谷成为了一个独有的小酒庄之家,他们生产高质量的红酒。今天的亚拉谷,作为澳大利亚最好的红酒产区,享誉着国内外的认可。至2012年,在亚拉谷的酒庄已经超过了140个,收割的葡萄达到超过1200,000箱。

至2012年,总葡萄种植面积达到2352公顷,其中62% 种植红葡萄 38%为白葡萄。在亚拉谷主要的葡萄品种有黑比诺,沙当妮,赤霞珠,西拉,长相思和美乐。亚拉谷最适合种植的品种之一是黑比诺。同时,那里南面的高处因为气候寒冷很适合生产莎当妮而地势较低,较温暖的地方更适合赤霞珠的种植。

 

melbourne web design