In 2000 and 2001 our Estate vines were planted in the Sotto and Sopra vineyards at Vinea Marson. With its ancient Cambrian soils, evenly distributed rainfall, well-drained soils and temperate climate this was the perfect place to grow the Rhone varieties, Shiraz and Viognier, and the Italian varieties, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Barbera. Esteemed wine journalist Jeni Port reflects upon the growing success of Vinea Marson’s Estate wines as ones which:
‘promote an Italian-style expression in a manner that is largely unforced, a little rustic even, shying away from boldness in favour of subtlety...Heathcote is proving a highly suitable conduit for Italian grapes such as Sangiovese and Nebbiolo.'
Inspired to emulate the complexity and texture of the multi- clonal wines he worked with at Mount Mary under the tutelage of Dr. John Middleton, and in the Italian wines he helped craft during vintages in Tuscany and Piedmont, Mario oversaw the importation of Italian grape clones together with the planting of new clones available in Australia.
The benefits of vineyard age are now coming to the fore in our Estate Range – not only are the vines more resilient to the vagaries of climate and weather, but they also produce fruit of more consistent and exceptional quality - creating wines of concentrated flavour, palate length and beguiling subtlety.
‘[It was] Always my intention to make the best quality wines from that region Heathcote using those varieties. If they have any of the characters that are seen in the Italian versions I am happy. But I also realize that I am trying to make the best wine from those vines grown under Australian conditions and in the Heathcote terroir.’
Winemaker Mario Marson pays homage to his family’s wine-making pedigree stretching back some five generations in Italy and Australia. In Italy, Mario’s grandfathers grew and made Friulano, Cabernet and Merlot and his great-grandfather, Giuseppe Zaghet, was chief winemaker for the local landowner, the padrone of Villa Brunetta at Prata di Pordenone, based in Friuli in the early twentieth century. Mario’s immigrant father, Giuseppe, planted rows of vines in his suburban backyard, bringing wine to the dinner table each night. In recognition of Mario’s continuation of this winemaking legacy, he was inducted as a Ducato dei Vini Friulani in 2012. Excitedly Mario is now joined in the winery by his daughter Madeleine. The tradition continues with the next generation!
Mario sources the indigenous Italian varieties; Malvasia d’Istria, Friulano, Picolit, Pinot bianco and Prosecco from Porepunkah in the Alpine Valleys in Victoria’s north-east to create the Vinea Marson Heritage Range. With its cool climate and soil minerality, this area is reminiscent of the wine region Collio in Friuli, and is the perfect site for Mario to explore his Italian wine-making roots in cra ing a delicious Prosecco and the multi- blend white, the Grazia.
Inspired by the textural white wines made by producers from Friuli and the Veneto, Mario has embraced their innovative winemaking style, experimenting with di erent vessels and skin-contact to cra these intriguing, textural and individual wines. From the 2014 vintage onwards, small batch single varietal wines have been cra ed to celebrate the innovative and e ortless style of Friulano winemaking.
The Friulano motto ‘salt, onest e lavoradôr’ – steadfast, honest and hardworking- reflects the approach to winemaking embraced by all at Vinea Marson.