Distinctive, complex, world-class – just a few of the buzzwords used to describe Lerida Estate’s renowned cool climate wines. And after some challenging years for local wine growers, this year’s vintage looks to be shaping up nicely.
Set lightly into the picturesque Lake George landscape, Lerida’s vineyards produce some of the most desirable wines in the region – highly sought after by locals, visitors and wine lovers from around the country.
Alongside its signature Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the estate thoughtfully develops Pinot Gris, Viognier, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Shiraz.
The team is excited to release its first Riesling from the vineyard in 2023, welcome news after the damage from natural disasters and challenging weather over the past three seasons.
Viticulturist at Lerida Estate James Hopper specialises in vineyard care as well as grape production and procurement.
“We’ve had some fairly difficult environmental conditions in terms of wet, cool weather and disastrous fire seasons over the last few years,” James says. “So we’re certainly looking forward to what will hopefully be drier, more predictable weather for the next season.
“This season also started out quite cool, but we were treated to a nice dry period over December and January. Despite harvest being later than usual, this meant we could pick exactly the grapes we wanted, at the perfect ripeness for fully developed flavour and increased concentration.
“This 2023 vintage and our next growing season will be the first approach to normality since the devastating bushfires four years ago. It’s all up from here and I’m particularly excited to see our signature wines impress once again, alongside our first-ever vineyard-grown Riesling.”
Winemaker Jacob Law is also keen for the estate to get the ball rolling once again. He says Lerida’s self-insurance practices helped the estate bounce back after losing its 2020 vintage to bushfire damage.
“We deliberately build up a bit of a stockpile from every vintage, which meant we still had wines to sell despite the loss our estate experienced along with many others in the region,” he says.
“Our signature wines are epic this year and we are looking forward to their release. Chardonnay is hanging out in oak barrels with its lees, with lots of stirring to build body and texture.
“Reds are being put into their barrels now and will rest there for six to nine months before bottling. The Pinot Noir especially promises intense complexity.”
Lerida Estate aims to localise its cellar door range and offer Canberra district wines exclusively. Outside of cellar door, Jacob says the team is making moves to advertise not only the estate, but the local region as a prime cool-climate wine destination.
“We are always trying to expand our reach, working to see our wines in every Canberran retailer and to increase our presence interstate,” he says.
“We have representation headed over to Germany alongside a NSW wine contingent, looking at export opportunities for Lerida Estate and promoting the entire Canberra district.”
Lerida Estate, 87 The Vineyards, Lake George NSW, is dedicated to excellence in the creation of wines that represent the unique and beautiful site on which they are grown. It’s open seven days from 10 am to 5 pm. More information can be found here.