In 1997 Phil Sexton arrived in the Yarra Valley in search of altitude, aged soils, slopes of exposure, regular rainfall and cool to cold night time temperatures and a gentle breeze off the protecting mountain ranges. Why, because he wanted to grow amazing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir fruit to make wines of purity and finesse. Steve Flamsteed, Chief Winemaker since 2003 has set about creating a range of Single Vineyard wines that personify each site.
For Melanie Chester, who became Head of Winemaking and Viticulture at Giant Steps in 2021, this long-held admiration for the winery comes with an intrinsic pressure to honour the expressions and diversity of its single sites. This means keeping the winemaking tight and transparent, so that diversity of site is what you taste. “The wines will never look the same because the vineyards continue to change,” she explains, “but we are committed to ensuring that the quality will be the same if not better.”
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