Lowe's Mudgee vineyards, situated on Tinja Lane, were planted in 1995.
Our vineyards are all organic, having been converted in 2003. In the vineyard we use competitive biology, aiming to be completely chemical free in dry years and using half the organic standard of copper and sulphur in wet years. The goal is to lift vine health through soil health and complexity, and combat disease through an active and competitive leaf surface biology, crowding out disease causing organisms.
We have two Shiraz blocks in the vineyard. Both are organic, dry grown and untrellised and both show the distinctly different terrior in their wines, even though there are only 15 metres apart.
The current release Lowe Shiraz is made from Lowe’s ‘Block 8’ vineyard, hand picked and fermented in open wax lined concrete fermenters prior to 12 months maturation in 2250 litre American oak casks.
We are not looking for overt oak influence in the wine, but rather a softening of the strong natural tannins.
The Lowe Merlot was fermented in a similar manner, with maturation in French hogsheads. 2006 was a long, dry vintage with a glorious spring. The Merlot comes from one of our vineyards with a lighter soil profile and therefore lower crops. The grapes have a natural clarity, so the trick is to not interfere with too much winemaking.
The 2012 Tinja Preservative Free & Organic Merlot is the fourth vintage of this wine. The 2009 was awarded the top points at the 2010 Organic Wine Show.
I’m very sensitive to sulphur and so only use minimal amounts in all my wines, and none in this Merlot. The dry grown grapes have the required colour and concentration of flavours to offset the use of sulphur.
It’s not quite that easy, but with very careful handling in the winery and a good technical approach the wine remains pure and, we believe, of the highest quality.