Paterson’s Gundagai Vineyard is located on gently sloping land on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River in Tumblong near the town of Gundagai, NSW – about a 4.5-hour drive south of Sydney and close to the Canberra wine region.
The vineyard has some 25 hectares of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay and can produce up to 150,000 bottles of wine per year. The vineyard was planted in 1997 at a similar time that Penfolds (then owned by Southcorp) planted a large vineyard 1 km down the road following an investigation into new premium vineyard sites in Australia. Paterson’s Gundagai was the first to produce red wines from the region – with the first vintage being 2001.
There are now many large vineyards in the Gundagai region due to a very good viticultural climate but also due to a plentiful water supply from the Murrumbidgee river – the second biggest river in Australia.
Even though Gundagai and other local wine regions such as Canberra and Hill Tops (Young) are relatively small in total wine production, they often produce wines that win trophies and gold medals in Australian wine shows and this is largely due to the special climate.
Our Vineyard was planted by Robert Paterson, a Graduate of Sydney University and Harvard Business School and a Senior Vice President of the Coca Cola Company. Robert retired from Coca Cola USA in the mid 1980’s, moved back to Australia and then became a grape grower and Angus cattle farmer in Gundagai.
Robert planted the vineyard together with his son – Dr Stuart Paterson (PhD, UNSW) who also studied Viticulture and Wine Science at CSU, Wagga.
Due to the fact that Robert was busy with his Angus cattle and Stuart with running an Engineering Business, only a small amount of wine was made every year, with most of the grapes being sold to large wineries. Nevertheless, every year since 2001, a small amount of wine (typically 2000 ~ 3000 bottles/year) was made under the Paterson’s Gundagai Vineyard label for private wine enthusiasts in Sydney and Germany. Since the first vintage (2001), these wines were entered into regional and national wine shows (which are strictly held as blind tastings by famous wine judges) and almost all the wines entered won gold, silver or bronze medals – often beating very famous and expensive wines from all over Australia.
In fact, no other vineyard in the Gundagai or other local regions has been so successful in wine shows and this could because of the unique row orientation of Paterson’s vineyard – which is planted East-West rather than the normal North-South way. It is believed that the dappled light on the grapes in East-West rows allow the Paterson’s grapes and wines to develop the special characteristics of flavour and aroma which make them stand out in wine shows and blind tastings.
Our wines are made by Brian from Canberra. Brian has a degree in wine science and has many vintages under his belt and is known for making wines that reflect the true character of the grapes. During his winemaking carrier, Brian has been a prolific winner of medals in national and regional wine shows.