Eldorado is often used as a metaphor for the “Holy Grail” that one might spend one’s life seeking. It could represent true love, heaven, happiness or success. It is used sometimes as a figure of speech to represent something much sought after that may never exist or at least may not ever be found.
Eldorado is located in the Beechworth foothills equidistant between Beechworth and Wangaratta. Our tiny home vineyards are located on Eldorado Road and only several kilometres from the quaint hamlet of Eldorado. The property was selected and purchased principally because it is located on a seam of free draining red decomposed granite loaded with granite buckshot, flanked by granite hills and fed by the gentle flowing Reedy Creek which weaves its way through our property on its journey to the Ovens River.
Paul Dahlenburg (Bear) and Lauretta Schulz (Laurie) have been growing grapes and making wines for others and now it’s time to pursue their dream of making wine and building a home for their wine that truly reflects their personalities and showcases the potential of Eldorado Road.
We have selected Nero d’Avola based on some sound detailed climate mapping matched with our geography and terroir. Initial discussions with Allesio Planeta a revered producer hailing from Sicily the indigenous home of the Nero d’Avola grape variety also convinced us to pursue arguably Sicily’s signature red variety.
Durif is also being cultivated as we truly believe our cooler location on Eldorado Road will produce a Durif expressing power, intense perfume and a level of finesse not often associated with the Durif variety.
Bear developed his passion for red wines and old vineyards producing wines over many years from some of the oldest vines in Victoria for Baileys of Glenrowan. Witnessing first hand older vines ability to produce wines of depth and character often under duress has forged a real respect and appreciation for these grand masters.
An opportunity came along to save a derelict dry land Glenrowan vineyard planted in the 1890’s. This ancient vineyard was planted when vine material was in short supply and established with rootlings shipped all the way to Australia by boat from France. Established before federation with only rainfall to sustain them enduring prevailing weather to forge out an existence, its truly remarkable these vines still survive today. Surely these vines deserved more and with the goodwill, understanding and friendship of the owners the journey continues for these ancient vines. Producing Shiraz since the 1890’s this block once again has the chance to showcase and reward the drinking public with wines born from another era. This project is something that inspires and drives Bear and Laurie leaving a legacy and allowing this old block to continue to tell its own story.
Eldorado Road is truly a family project consuming our lives, robbing our weekends now dedicated to making wines, developing vineyards and restoring the old block. Often demanding but truly rewarding.