Our ultimate aim is to grow the best fruit possible from our vineyard, all our grapes are treated as the ultra-premium range, there is no tiered system or ranking of quality. All our grapes share equal treatment and care, producing the best possible grapes the growing season has to offer. We target very low yields of 3 - 4 tonne/ha for Pinot Noir and Merlot and about 4 - 5 tonne/ha for Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris.
The winery and vineyard sites were selected specifically for viticulture with sustainability and environmental considerations high on the agenda. The location provides ideal climate for the selected grape varieties which provide shelter from hot winds for the white varieties and a full sun for the red varieties. Cool ripening conditions and a long growing seasons from bud burst to harvest in March & April allows the berries to retain excellent acid levels and develop intense fruit flavours. The growing season at Bass River extends beyond neighboring vineyards and regions. Harvest is noticeably later than nearby vineyards and in our opinion although the mean day time vineyard temperatures are comparable to nearby sites, the night-time temperatures are cooler. Over the growing season this results in a later harvest date by up two weeks when compared to nearby vineyards.
Bass River only produces Single Vineyard wines expressing variety, region and season. The grapes are meticulously cared for by the owner Pasquale Butera. Pasquale’s experience with vines commenced as a boy in Southern Italy, his knowledge and ability to nurture vines results in producing yields suited for wine type and style not withstanding seasonal challenges. Pasquale follows organic principles closely acknowledging that at times conventional grape growing processes are required to deliver rich, flavour filled and elegant berries.
Our vine canopies consist of a simple sprawl with a catch wire for stability and all pruning, position, shoot thinning and fruit thinning is performed carefully by hand. We do not use cover crops and rely on the natural grasses and surrounding trees to supply a healthy population of biodiversity in the vineyard.
At Bass River we 100% hand pick all fruit at exactly the right time. The fruit is picked into manageable bins and collected from the row. The grapes are delivered to our onsite winery in the best condition and we cool and rest our grapes overnight.
The Bass River property is approximately 44 hectares, about a third of the land is used for viticulture and olive grove, with the remaining land being used to raise 100% Gippsland grass fed Angus Beef. A portion of the land has been returned to native vegetation, this land now flourishes with a growing eco-system. Future plans may return larger portions of the land to natural environments and possibly a new vineyard block.