Producer: Mac Forbes
Mac’s career began in France aged 18 and covered winemaking, teaching and marketing in a variety of countries and working with some well-known estates. He returned to Australia in 2004 and began with six sites in the Yarra Valley with varying ages of vines.
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Generally, he begins by leasing a vineyard and if he finds it produces what he wants and finances allow he eventually buys it, so his estate is now 20 ha hectares of which eight are leased. Mac works in an uncompromising way to produce hand-crafted wines. His philosophy is to treat each vineyard as individual and to work in a way that’s best for that site. Mac’s wines always show superb elegance and restraint with great complexity and elegance.
His winery is located in Healesville in the Yarra Valley. Conditions and therefore wine styles shift as you move through the Yarra so he has vineyards throughout the region. The Lower Yarra has a warmer climate and so the wines are more open with a different texture to those of the Upper Yarra, where they have structure, aromatics and body. There are two vineyards in the Lower Yarra (Gruyere and Coldstream) and four in the Upper Yarra (Woori Yallock, Hoddles Creek, Yarra Junction and Wesburn). Those in the Upper Yarra are protected from warm northerly winds by the Great Dividing Range and also get cooling influences having higher rainfall and higher elevation. The soil type here in the Upper Yarra is typically red volcanic and highly friable.