Moppity Vineyards has strengthened its foothold in the Southern NSW wine region with the acquisition of the old Kerralee vineyard on the Barton Highway on the outskirts of Murrumbateman.
This adds to the Moppity vineyard in Hilltops, which owners Jason and Alecia Brown (pictured) purchased in 2004, and the Coppabella vineyard in Tumbarumba, which they purchased in 2011.
The Brown’s have been driven by their passion to make cool climate, Southern NSW wines, and this latest investment gives them the opportunity to declare Canberra as their new central headquarters and extend their access to ultra-premium fruit.
The move paves the way for a central, purpose built, winery and cellar door to create and showcase wines from all three regions; Canberra, Hilltops and Tumbarumba. And Jason Brown said he’s excited to promote Southern NSW as one of Australia’s most exciting winemaking precincts.
“I see Canberra, Hilltops and Tumbarumba as the Holy Trinity; the heart and soul of Southern NSW winemaking,” he said. “We’ve long held the belief that these areas can produce some of the best and most exciting wines in Australia. And now we are pleased to announce that we have a foothold in all three.”
Plans are underway for the current Kerralee vineyard to be expanded to 7.5ha to include a range of new varieties and hero clones.
Progress has already begun – the north block which was originally planted to Pinot Noir and Merlot in 1994, has been prepared for grafting Shiraz and Viognier. And the new south block is being prepared to plant more Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Riesling.
“By 2021/2022 we should be in position to showcase wines from all three regions under one roof – they will form a strong alliance in promoting Southern NSW as one of Australia’s most exciting winemaking precincts.”
The new winery will raise the quality of Moppity and Coppabella wines through greater winemaking control, improved facilities, a reduction in grape transport quality impacts and a smaller environmental footprint. And the wines being produced on-site in Canberra will add yet another dimension to the Moppity portfolio.
“If there’s one thing that’s excited me the most at Moppity, it’s the capacity to surprise people with our wines. Hilltops was underrated when we bought the (then dilapidated) Moppity vineyard from the hands of receivers in 2004. The Coppabella vineyard was struggling financially and on the verge of being removed before we bought it in 2011. On the back of a lot of toil, sweat and tears (and a little blood), we’ve resurrected both sites and they’ve achieved well-deserved acclaim since then.
“Similarly, our new Canberra vineyard has phenomenal potential. A lot has changed in the years since we made our first wines. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve and evolve and I believe we’re at the top of our game today.”