Best’s Wines is celebrated for its rich vineyard resources in Victoria’s Great Western. There are two estates from which Best’s sources its fruit: the grand matriarch and headquarters, “Concongella” at Great Western; and “Salvation Hills”, 13km away at Rhymney. Each vineyard produces distinctly different grape characteristics from vines aged from less than five to 150 years old.
The original Concongella Vineyards around Henry Best’s homestead and winery contain the blocks used to produce the handcrafted Icon range. Established in 1866, “Concongella” estate takes its name from the picturesque Concongella Creek that runs beside the vineyard. The land along the creek is flat with powdery loam overlaying a deep clay sub-soil, while newer plantings are on frost-free hills.
A long, slow-ripening period and continental climate are characteristics of Great Western. The area experiences cold to very cold winters and frequently dry and cool summers, with occasional bursts of hot weather. Managing Director Ben Thomson believes a little vine stress concentrates grape flavour; at Concongella it happens naturally. Despite these natural adversities, Concongella consistently produces high-quality grapes of intense flavour.
The newest addition to Best’s Great Western’s vineyard portfolio is Salvation Hills at Rhymney, which was established in 1996. Salvation Hills spans across 17 hectares in this subregion of Victoria’s Great Western. The vineyard is at a low risk from frost and enjoys a cool, temperate Mediterranean climate with duplex silty soils overlying fine-textured subsoil with or without siltstone at various depths.