The Heathcote region in northern Victoria enjoys a coastal continental climate and is known for its powerfully pungent and full-bodied Shiraz wines. Summers in the region are hot and dry, but the rains that arrive in winter prepare the soil for the coming harvest season. Challenges in the area are caused by herds of up to 200 kangaroos, cockatoos attracted to the site by red grapes, and wildfires, which have unfortunately become more common. Therefore, the winegrowers in the area have to protect their precious vines with nets and closely monitor water use in their orchards.
While traveling to Australia in 1997, Michel Chapoutier fell deeply in love with the region. Michel wanted to test how Rhône varieties would do in the country, and thus began a long period of research and exploration, the results of which we can now enjoy. Chapoutier planted ungrafted vines in the Victoria region from old selected clones that had been imported from Europe even before the ravages of the vine aphid. The project was made possible by the contrasting seasons of Australia and France, as the harvest in the Victoria region is done while spring is being enjoyed in France. This is how the busy man was able to fit both projects into his annual calendar.
Chapoutier's wine production values strongly include respect for the origin and the world, the courage to be open-minded, the willingness to combine tradition and modernity, and the courage to give voice to the terroir rather than the style of the winemaker or farm. These values can be tasted when Tournon's wines are poured into a glass.