Soil & Climate
Discover what makes the Yarra Valley region perfect for producing award winning wines due to its soil and climate.
Yarra Valley Soil
The topography of the Yarra Valley varies enormously and accordingly the region encompasses a wide range of soil types.
There are two basic soil types. The traditional areas on the northern side of the valley are grey to grey-brown in colour on the surface and range from loamy sand to clay loam in consistency with red-brown clay subsoils, frequently impregnated with rock. Most are relatively acidic and low in fertility, but are generally well drained.
The other major soil type is much younger in origin and is a highly friable, brilliantly coloured red volcanic soil. This immensely deep and fertile soil is found predominantly around Seville, Hoddles Creek and elsewhere on the southern (Warburton) side of the valley.
Yarra Valley Climate
The Yarra Valley is cool in relation to the rest of Australia’s viticultural regions. The region is cooler than Bordeaux but warmer than Burgundy. Vineyard elevation varies from 50m – 430m.
Rainfall is winter/spring dominant, with the summer relatively cool, dry and humid. There is limited maritime influence. The small diurnal temperature range reflects the proximity of the southern ocean.
Harvest typically commences in mid-February with Pinot Noir and finishes with Cabernet Sauvignon in April. These dates correspond to September and November respectively in the northern hemisphere. Frost is rarely a problem but can affect the lower vineyards on the valley floor from time to time.
With a seven month growing season, rainfall of between 750-950mm (often less rather than more) and restricted water holding capacity in some soils, irrigation is considered essential – although the extent of its use does vary significantly between producers.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has a weather station at Coldstream which keeps track of all climate statistics since 1994. Coldstream is central in the region and is at an elevation of 83 meters. Click here for full details.
So what does this all mean?
Wines of quality and finesse displaying a calmness and elegance which is a little more ‘old world’ and foodie than new, brash and in your face.