Macedon sips score big

Co-owner James Gevergizian (supplied).

Zoe Moffatt

When James Gevergizian and his wife Marlin purchased a vineyard for their retirement in 2021, no bottle of wine had ever been produced with grapes just from the 26 year old orchard.

Just three years later the vineyard is producing award winning bottles, and has been named as one of the 41 top winegrowers in Australia.

When speaking about the investment in Glenhope Vineyard and this milestone, Mr Gevergizian said the award proves that the work put into the vineyard is a tick in the right direction.

“It’s a big achievement, not only for us but for Vigneron Scott Harrington,” he said.

“This place has been here since 1995, and there was never wine made from the grapes here.

“Most of the grapes were sent to New South Wales and blended in with other grapes. There was no identity as to what the varieties were.

“So 2022 came along and we decided not only will we sell the fruit of various winemakers in the region, but also we want to showcase our wine.”

With no immediate background in farming, Mr Gevergizian said they have tried to get the infrastructure up to a standard they are happy with.

“Culturally my forefathers always worked the land… and following COVID we were looking at retiring and moving into the country,” he said.

“This property came on the scene and my wife fell in love with it, and the rest of it is history basically.

“It’s challenging, because really what we’re doing at the moment, we’ve been spending a lot of our energy on getting the place looking right, [and] making sure that we’ve got the right equipment.”

Going into this year, Mr Gevergizian said the ongoing challenges are the rising cost of farming and the delayed payments.

“The realities in farming, the cost of doing anything is so high. You purchase everything at a retail and your product gets solid at a wholesale [and] you have to wait forever to be paid for it as well.

“So it’s from all aspects of the challenge not mentioning the weather… but we are getting there slowly.”

The Vineyard of the Year Awards list of Australia’s top winegrowers was announced in late February and is just the fourth year it has been running.

Awards panellist Max Allen said he can’t believe everyone is still having to talk about Australia’s winegrowing community facing unprecedented challenges.

“The pandemic might be over, the bushfires and floods may have receded, but there’s still plenty to worry about,” he said.

“Uncertain weather patterns, global oversupply, rising costs and dwindling returns, structural imbalance and poor industry governance- the list goes on.

“That’s why the vineyard of the year awards… are so important.

“They offer a ray of hope… [so] we can remind ourselves that growing grapes and making wine is a long-term game that requires resilience and optimism and ingenuity.”