Hilltops is rapidly emerging as one of the most exciting viticultural regions in Australia. The high altitude, coupled with the dry summer and autumn, provides excellent ripening conditions. This and the rich red soils enables the production of wines with great intensity of flavour and finesse. Australia’s most influential wine commentator James Halliday has hailed the Hilltops as one of the two most significant emerging cool climate wine regions in Australia. Viticulturally, the region can be summarised as "Barossa meets the Grampians"; power and concentration with elegance and finesse.
The Hilltops Wine Region is one of New South Wales' most exciting wine regions. Situated in the Murray-Darling Basin around the towns of Young, Boorowa and Harden, the Hilltops is fast gaining recognition as a consistent producer of ultra-premium wine. Consequently it has attracted the attention of leading winemakers from other regions.
Croatian immigrants planted the first vines in this region in the 1860’s. These vines were planted especially for refreshments for the diggers working in the near-by gold fields. However, the more recent vineyards contributing to today's viticulture industry were established from the 1970's.
This region has a continental climate, with cool winters and rain falling predominantly in the winter, autumn and spring months. The summer's hot dry days but cool nights provide ideal ripening conditions, distinguishing the Hilltops from many other renowned viticultural regions in Australia.
Vineyards are found at altitudes of 450m to 600m above sea level, contributing to the high diurnal temperature range. The rich terra rossa soils of the region are another important factor enhancing the quality of the Hilltops wines.
Our 170 acre vineyard sits at the highest elevation in the Hilltops and the 43 year old vines are among the oldest in southern New South Wales. Our Reserve wines are typically sourced from the old, gnarly, low-yielding vines. These old boys don't deliver much fruit but it's wonderfully concentrated. As they say: old vines make great wines!
The vineyard is situated on dark red volcanic granitic clays, impregnated with basalt. We have 170 acres under vine spread over 450 acres of undulating terrain. Plantings include shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, nebbiolo, chardonnay, riesling, semillon and viognier. There are multiple clones of each variety (for example we grow five different shiraz clones), and each features distinct qualities. The result is a tremendous diversity in wine style depending on site, aspect, soil type and vine clone.
The Hilltops climate is cool to moderate. Summer rainfall is low, so we can control vigour and optimise flavour development. We generally have the benefit of a long, even ripening period - this supports flavour and colour development and underpins the intensity of our wines. Although early spring frost is an issue in the district, the Moppity Vineyards are sited on undulating terrain, ensuring adequate frost drainage.