Vineyards & Winemaking
Over forty years of nurturing grapevines and making wine has taught the Oatley family many lessons. Site selection is paramount, that 'sense of place', as where you choose to grow your grapes is vital to both style and quality.
The Oatley approach is to overlay this philosophy with an outstanding team of grape growers and wine makers, using the best possible equipment, to allow them every chance of producing a winner.
The task is clear: to craft wines that have varietal clarity, focus and which reflect their provenance - in a very modern fashion.
Sandy Oatley and Larry Cherubino share the Oatley winemaking philosophy.
Wines of character and integrity
Director of Winemaking, acclaimed vigneron Larry Cherubino, achieves this via a myriad of vineyards across the length and breadth of Australia's wine regions. His winemaking team is led from the Oatley's winery at Mudgee, with further on-location experts and facilities in Margaret River, McLaren Vale and Yarra Valley.
Vineyards are tended as organically as possible and wines are made with minimal intervention, reflecting a dedication to sustainable grape growing and wine production practices.
Vineyards - a diverse range of climatic regions
Australia's specialist grape growing families are the backbone of our industry. The Oatley family draw upon dozens of growers of excellence across a diverse range of climatic regions. Wine regions represented include Margaret River, Great Southern and Pemberton (Western Australia), McLaren Vale and Barossa (South Australia), Yarra Valley, Heathcote & Mornington Peninsula (Victoria), along with grapes grown on properties in Mudgee (NSW), dating back to 1858.
Western Australia plays an important role in our Robert Oatley wines — winemaker Larry Cherubino explains why.
Margaret River, Western Australia
Climatically, Australia's most reliable wine region, not to mention one of its best known, Margaret River is the ideal home for the Bordeaux varietals Cabernet Sauvignon, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, along with Chardonnay, producing distinctive wines of powerful structure and finesse.
Great Southern, Western Australia: Mount Barker, Denmark, Frankland River and Porongurup
Recognised by many as Australia's newest high-quality Riesling region along with an array of outstanding red wines, the Great Southern encompasses a wide spectrum of sub-districts that are delivering remarkably delicious and often age-worthy wines of tremendous success.
Pemberton, Western Australia
This little-known but highly regarded region due south of Perth and south-east of Margaret River is fast gaining kudos for its stylish, beautifully structured Sauvignon Blanc.
Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
Pinot Noir has found a natural home in the cool climate of the Mornington Peninsula, where a wide range of styles are grown. We prefer the lighter, varietally-precise examples, particularly from vineyards in and around Red Hill.
Yarra Valley, Victoria
The picturesque Yarra Valley is home to a number of Australia's most noted historic wineries which continue alongside some of the newest and most innovative. Its generally cool climate is well suited to Pinot Noir and beautifully structured Chardonnay.
Barossa & McLaren Vale, South Australia
As a fan of South Australian shiraz for decades, we have been keen to progress the traditional styles, to wines with brighter fruit, less obvious alcohol and minimal reliance on oak. Larry Cherubino and Chris Hancock have produced two award-winning wines that have proven hits with fans of the variety.
Mudgee & Orange, Central Ranges, New South Wales
Our winemaking heart and home lies within the beautiful Central Ranges district just over the Blue Mountains, north-west of Sydney. Sites range from warm and sunny to super high altitude and chilly, with high quality examples of many varietals, from full-bodied Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet through to delicate Sauvignon Blanc, even Riesling.
ROBERT OATLEY VINEYARDS VINTAGE REPORT 2017
A solid vintage across the board for both Margaret River and Great Southern with the latter being the standout. An uncharacteristically mild summer delayed the start of harvest and some March rain provided challenging conditions that brought out the best in our growers, followed by very dry April-May. Whites are highly aromatic, chardonnays layered and with good fresh acid. The reds have plenty of colour, bright flavours and fine tannin. In all, what could’ve been quite precarious ended up being pretty good.
Our South Australian vintage was excellent, with good yields of above average quality. After a late start to harvest, McLaren Vale was terrific, well-balanced vines, good crop levels of fantastic colour and flavour. There is some stand-out blocks of shiraz, the grenache rosé looks delicious, Mataro intense and grenache floral and perfumed. Reds from the Barossa (Eden Valley and Barossa Valley) enjoyed ideal ripening conditions, a later than normal harvest timing and generous yields – our focus was on shiraz which was very strong.
New South Wales
We enjoyed a very good vintage in the high altitude Central Ranges (Mudgee). Winter was very wet however summer was very warm and dry, with widespread heavy rain at the very end of harvest. It was a slightly early start to harvest and the white varieties came in at optimum ripeness. The red harvests were staggered, with excellent merlot and shiraz, and some cabernet sauvignon affected by the late rain. Overall we are very pleased with the chardonnays; pinot grigio and rosé wines are fine, delicate and delicious. Early parcels of shiraz are stunning, Rhone-like and with bright red fruits.
Yarra Valley pinot noir fared really well this vintage, enjoying mild summer conditions, perfect for slow ripening. Wines are showing great concentration of flavour and a touch more complexity than the past couple of vintages.