In 2010, Australia was facing a devastating wine glut. Many vignerons sold their vineyards and of those that didn't, many opted to leave their grapes on their vines during harvest due to low grape prices or failure to find a buyer. It was during this time that Foster's put one of their most successful vineyards up for sale. Several years prior to this, the vineyard was producing an award-winning wine of outstanding quality, labelled under Rosemount's Mountain Blue. The wine was in high demand and for good reason. One of the label's biggest fans was and still is Sandy Yeates. So when the vineyard went on the market, it was no surprise that Sandy (and after some serious negotiation, Vicki) began to seriously contemplate buying it. Everyone they spoke to about buying the vineyard thought they'd be absolutely crazy to do so given the current problems facing the industry, and by all accounts, it probably wasn't a great idea at the time. However, with possibly more heart than head, they went ahead and bought it!
Having previously owned a cattle stud near Rylstone for just under 30 years, the Yeates family (in particular Sandy) had a good understanding of agriculture, were not shy of hard outdoor work and as a bonus had a great love and appreciation for wine. So with all hands on deck, the family began to learn the wine business and revitalisation work on the vineyard commenced. With the help of many generous people, the family's understanding of grape growing and wine production improved significantly and with this has come a consistent improvement in the quality of the vines & subsequently their grapes.
I think it's safe to say that every member of the Yeates family has at some point or another questioned the decision to buy the vineyard (mostly around harvest time and in the midst of pruning on freezing winter mornings). However, all in all, the family believes the decision was absolutely the right one. We can't wait to share with you the product of some very hard work and hope that our wines will only continue to improve with time.
Sandy, Vicki, James, Gemma, Sarah, Anna, Edwina & Harry Yeates.