The “Mayer Vineyard” is located in the Yarra Valley, about halfway between Healesville and Yarra Junction on a steep slope overlooking the surrounding valley. The vineyard belongs to the Mayer family, Timo and his wife Rhonda. They and their three children (Rivar, Ruby and Ivy) live in a beautiful, rammed earth house on the top of the hill.
The Mayer and the Adam families (Rivar missing from the picture)
Timo is the winemaker cum viticulturist at Gembrook Hill, a well-known boutique vineyard at the far southern and cooler end of the Yarra Valley. He is famous for his fine palate and a much sought-after wine consultant.
His own vineyard covers about 6 acres (VSP trellising, cane pruned, row spacing 2.5 m, vine spacing 1.5 and 0.75 m) and his wine label is called “Bloody Hill” which is also “written” or should I better say “slashed” (by a tractor slasher) into the remaining paddock in between the two vineyard blocks. Timo produces a “Bloody Hill” Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir and a “Big Betty” Shriaz. The wines can be obtained from various retail outlets (for instance the Wine Hub at the Yarra Valley Dairy or the Winehouse at Southbank in Melbourne) and by mail order. Timo makes also a very delicious Rosé. The total yearly production is about 12 tonnes of fruit which is ‘transformed’ into about 700 cases of wine.
One part of Bloody Hill, the Mayer Vineyard
We were lucky to have had Timo make our 2002 award winning Sauvignon Blanc. However, we have more in common than a love for wine. Timo is also of German origin. He is the son of a farmer from the beautiful lands of the Suebians (Schwaben), home to a German tribe in the South and he cherishes many old local traditions. During a recent birthday celebration we were involved in a breathtaking collective “move the table” ritual, nothing spiritual of course but rather a rustic rural drinking game (with all the glasses and the crockery standing on it), where we physically lifted the table to above our heads chanting merryily, entirely in the Suebian language. All this went very well in the Australian setting of multiculturalism.
My suggestion: Check out the wines now and fill your wine cellar to capacity before they become a cult wine and very, very expensive.