Lethbridge | Geelong, Australia
Lethbridge Wines is a boutique wine producer specialising in highly terroir-driven wines from some of the best vineyards in Victoria's Geelong region, chosen after an exhaustive search in the mid 1990's. Owner-winemakers Ray Nadeson and Maree Collis are not your average winemakers of a boutique winery. Both were initially trained as research scientists and hold PhD degrees in chemistry and medicine, respectively. While combining their scientific careers with winemaking, Maree and Ray completed the winemaking degree at Charles Sturt University. Ray states, "winemaking is not really that different to science, both are creative and both involve 99% perspiration, 1% inspiration".
With total wine production capacity capped at 3,000 cases, the focus is on quality and individuality, with a strong emphasis on capturing the local terroirs. As well as understanding the importance of terroir, the partners have built a unique straw- bale winery, designed to recreate the controlled environment of cellars and caves in Europe. Winemaking is no less ecological: hand-picking, indigenous yeast fermentation, small open fermenters, pigeage (foot-stomping) and minimal handling of the wines throughout the maturation process are all part and parcel of the highly successful Lethbridge approach.
Lethbridge is a James Halliday 5 Red Star Winery that has built up a cult following in Australia and their wines are rarely seen outside of Melbourne; this is a great opportunity to sample these award winning wines from one of the few overseas allocations.