Winery review: Oakridge Wines, Yarra Valley – Winery of the year 2012

Oakridge Winery

When we are on vacation in Australia, we are always trying to visit some of the many wineries in our vicinity. From Glenburn the Yarra Valley is just a “stone’s throw” away so to say; a 30 to 40 minutes drive will drop you at the doorsteps of most of the famous Yarra Valley wineries.

However, when it comes to the execution of our plans, we more often than not fail. The Christmas holidays in 2011 were no exception. But at the last minute, we dashed along the Maroondah highway to buy a couple of bottles of wine we could take back to Bangkok.

The Oakridge Winery was our destination. We knew through the grapevine that Oakridge had won the prestigious “winery of the year award 2012”. Moreover, the critics also praised the 2010 Chardonnay 864 of the Lusatia Park Vineyard.

The newly invented “twilight cellar door”, open until dark, made the visit possible, because it was already 18 h (most wineries close at 17 h) when we got there. We rocked up at the vineyard where a function took place but did not miss the “tent” with the mobile cellar door.

Well managed vineyards surround the winery

Oakridge has become an icon in the Yarra Valley. Since 1978 the family-owned winery produces premium and award winning wines on about 10 ha of land. Since 2002 David Bicknell is the chief wine-maker at Oakridge.

The winery and lots of green space around it

The Yarra Valley is considered to be a cool climate region. Its wines are often compared to the wines of Bordeaux, Cotes d’Or and the Northern Rhone.

Especially the Pinot Noir and the Chardonnay wines of Oakridge are very remarkable, but also some of the other wines win top awards for instance the 864 Syrah (gold in 2011). From the Oakridge website you can find out more about the awards and the awards performance of the Oakridge wines.

The new crop on the vines

The twilight cellar door with the very friendly staff

Oakridge’s premium brand is the 864 series. Unfortunately, the Chardonnay we intended to buy was not available at the twilight cellar door that day. We were pressed for time but tasted another one of their premium wines, the ‘2010 Oakridge Lieu-dit Chardonnay’ from the Duck’s Lane vineyard. Delicious.

According to the Age & Sydney Morning Herald 2012 Good wine Guide, this Chardonnay has 95 Parker points. As you know, I am not phased by the various point systems. I either like a wine or I don’t regardless of the points

By the way, it is scientifically proven that wine judges cannot replicate consistently the same rating in replicated test series. And ever since I red Daniel Kahneman’s book “Thinking fast and slow” I know the reasons which are neatly explained by “prospect theory”.

Anyway, we bought a bottle of this gorgeous drop. She was one of only four in our luggage to make the way to Bangkok. I will tell you how this ‘2010 Oakridge Lieu-dit Chardonnay’ tasted when I open this treasure. For now it is safely stored in my wine fridge. Stay tuned.

Brochures and wines at the twilight cellar door

The other sure think is that we need to come back to Oakridge for a proper tasting. You are cordially invited to join us.

864 Maroondah Highway,
Coldstream, Victoria 3770 Australia
Tel.: +61 3 9738 9900


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