OUR STORY

Virgin Hills was the creation of the eccentric Hungarian-born sculptor and restaurateur Tom Lazar. Arriving from Hungary via Paris in 1952, he found a country and a wine industry, very different to the one we know today.

Lazar was determined to change all that. He established the acclaimed Little Reata restaurant in Melbourne. Then in 1968, came his grand vision of Virgin Hills. Inspired, he bought 300 acres of rugged bushland high in the Macedon Ranges. Lazar saw an opportunity to expose Australian palates to something very different; black cherries.

After laborious clearing, the soil revealed itself to be quite poor for cherries.

Swiftly, Lazar had another grand vision. Decades before the term ‘cool-climate wine’ became popular, he abandoned the idea of a cherry orchard, planting Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Malbec, Merlot and Pinot Noir instead. He planned an Australian rival to the great Bordeaux wines he had grown to love in Paris. Lazar was prone to grand visions.

From its first vintage in 1973, Virgin Hills seemed like nothing more than a crazy idea.

Even with all the setbacks, Virgin Hills began to acquire cult status, making Virgin Hills one of the most sought after Australian wines.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Shiraz

Merlot

Malbec

Total

LOCATION

Virgin Hills Estate is at Lauriston, 15km west of Kyneton Victoria in the Macedon Ranges. The altitude of the vineyard is 600 metres above sea level, making it one of Australia's highest vineyards.

SOILS

The Virgin Hills vineyard is carved out of dense eucalyptus bushland. The soils classic profile is that of friable red/brown topsoil overlying medium red clay soil, which holds moisture in from winter rains. Underneath all these layers are decomposed silty sandstone, which allows for good through drainage, essential for premium fruit. The soil has a well-balanced structure allowing for deep root penetration, which the old unirrigated vines thrive on.

THE VINES

Planted by the original owner, Tom Lazar, in 1968. The vines are all dry grown. Winter rainfall fills the soil with water for the dry summer months.

18.5 acres

6 acres

4 acres

2 acres

30.5 acres

Acreage

TONNAGE

 

Virgin Hills has always had a low grape yield (0.5 to 1.5 tonnes per acre), this is largely due to the tough climatic conditions and the dry-grown grapes.

CLIMATE

 

Summer (Temps) 5°C to 30°C

Winter (Temps) -4°C to 12°C

Climatic Problems: By far the most challenging aspect of the high altitude vineyard is frost control. Frosts commonly appear in the vineyard in spring and even summer. For this reason, Virgin Hills was planted with a Northerly aspect, on a steep sloping hillside, providing maximum air drainage. 

SEASON CYCLE

 

Budburst​ - October

Flowering - December

Fruitset - End December

Veraison - February

Harvest - April/May

Dormancy - May/September

OUR OTHER VENUES

 

HOPE ESTATE

TOWER ESTATE

CONTACT

 

E info@virginhills.com.au

P (02) 4984 2076

 

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