Helen & Joey Estate
Helen and Joey Estate is located in the prestigious Yarra Valley, just 45km north east of Melbourne. This cool climate wine growing region has a tradition of producing premium Cabernet Sauvignon (and Bordeaux blends), Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The cool continental climate, paired with substantial average rainfall provide excellent grape growing conditions. We are located in the sub region of Gruyere which is home to many internationally recognised and iconic producers who all share the same soil type and aspect of our Estate.
Helen & Joey Estate was founded in 2010 when Helen & Joey purchased what was the old Fernando vineyard located in Gruyere at the foot of the Warramate Hills. Our vineyard was originally planted in 1996. Since 2010, we have grown and evolved with the business now employing some 10 full time or part time staff, many of whom are local Yarra valley residents. Through these years we have grown a strong domestic sales presence, with our wines available on bottle shop shelves and restaurant wine lists in Melbourne, Sydney, Sth East Queensland, Canberra and perth. Along with our strong domestic presence, we are now also exporting to China, Japan, Singapore and the USA.
Our winemaking team is led by Meg Brodtmann MW. Meg has the honour of being Australia’s first woman to be awarded their Master of Wine certificate. Meg has many years winemaking experience both here in the Yarra Valley as well around the world. Jamie McGlade is our vineyard manager and brings with him numerous years experience working in vineyards in the Yarra Valley. Meg and Jamie work closely to ensure our single vineyard estate is capable of producing outstanding wines.
Our Vineyard was originally planted with eight different grape varieties. Pinot gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc and Semillon for the whites, and Pinot noir, Cabernet sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot for the red varieties. In 2017 we also planted a small amount Cabernet franc which hopefully will yield us some good fruit for our 2020/21 vintage.
From these varieties we make 3 main dry table wine ranges.
Our Inara wines are our entry level wines made in a style which allows for early consumption. These wines are fruit dominant with only very subtle use of oak, if any. In our Inara range you will find a Chardonnay, Pinot gris, Rosé, Pinot noir, Shiraz and Cabernet sauvignon. In 2018 we will be adding to this a sparkling wine.
Our Layla wines are a real expression of what our beautiful vineyard has to offer. There are only two varieties for Layla being the classic Yarra Valley varieties of Chardonnay and Pinot noir. These wines are essentially made in the vineyard with as little intervention in the winery as possibly. The wines are a true expressions of what the Yarra Valley, and more precisely, our vineyard can produce.
The Alena collection of wines are our flagship wines and rightfully named after one of our passionate owners, Helen. Alena translates from ancient Russian to Helen. The Alena wines have been carefully selected from special parts of vineyard we have identified as producing fruit of outstanding quality. Yields in these sections are reduced and meticulous care and attention to detail is given over the growing season. If the quality is good enough, the grapes are handpicked, fermented and placed in the finest oak barrels where they will rest and age gracefully. These barrels are carefully monitored by our senior winemaker with only the best being selected. Our Alena wines are only made in years where we consider the quality to be outstanding. Varieties in our Alena collection include, Chardonnay, Cabernet sauvignon, Shiraz and a Cabernet Merlot. We absolutely love the Merlot our vineyard produces, so we may even make a Merlot as well.
Along with the above ranges we also have our Late Harvest collection of wines. The grapes for these wines are picked a little later in the season, allowing sugar levels to rise and water to reduce, producing a sweeter style wine. Although sweet, these wines are not cloying at all, and are able to be consumed as an aperitif style wine as well.
In 2016 we produced our first Wayward Child wine. Wayward Child wines are our experimental wines that may have “gone off the rails” a little. These wines may also include different varieties not currently grown on our vineyard. Our inaugural 2016 vintage saw us make a full skin contact Pinot gris and a co-fermented field blend of Cabernet, Shiraz and Merlot that all ripened simultaneously.
Our wines have won numerous awards and accolades over the years including high scores from James Halliday and wine show gold medals. We are though most proud of our 2015 Alena Chardonnay winning the trophies for Best Chardonnay and Best White Wine in Show at the 2017 Victorian Wine Show.