Little Cathedral Vineyard

 

Who: Little Cathedral Vineyard logo

Where: Upper Goulbourn, Victoria. About 110km north east of Melbourne.

What: A tiny little (literally!) vineyard surrounded by national park and mountain peaks, growing only one variety – Pinot Noir!

Why: Despite describing themselves as ‘accidental vignerons’ Madge Alexandra and Anna Pickworth have developed a highly respected Pinot Noir vineyard that is producing some gorgeous wine and is helping to put the Upper Goulbourn region on the map. This is one ‘little’ producer that you should definitely have on your radar!

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One day in 2005 Madge Alexandra (an architect) and Anna Pickworth (a park ranger) found a lovely bit of land in the Upper Goulbourn region of Victoria that they liked the look of. And what gorgeous land it was. Surrounded by the breathtaking Cathedral Ranges with all its lush forest and rising mountain peaks, the duo fell in love with the ol’ place – only realising somewhat later that there was actually a three and a half hectare vineyard on the 80 hectare property *gulp*.

Not only that, but the vineyard was planted exclusively with what is arguably considered to be the most pernickety and hardest to manage of all the grape types: Pinot Noir! And what’s more, Madge didn’t even like Pinot Noir *double gulp*.

From those humble beginnings, however, Madge Alexandra and Anna Pickworth have hand tended the vineyard themselves and have created what is regarded by many in the industry as one of the region’s – if not the nation’s – best Pinot Noir vineyards. It’s from this single vineyard that they produce their own ‘Little Cathedral‘ label of world class, French Burgundy style Pinot Noir and have also just recently added to their repertoire a Pinot based Rosé. The name they chose for their wines comes from the Little Cathedral mountain that stands like a proud lady looking down over their property.

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The vineyard, overseen by ‘Little Cathedral’ mountain

 

These gals are true micro-producers. They only produce a tiny quantity of wine each year. Last year it was a mere – but hotly sought after – 200 cases. And they employ the fabulous and super talented local wine maker Caroline Mooney to work her magic on their much loved bunches. Madge and Anna do all the rest, from hand pruning and harvesting to wine sales, distribution and marketing, they’re putting their love into every element of their wine’s journey to your table.

The Upper Goulbourn area of Victoria is not far from the Yarra Valley, but there’s the little issue of a huge mountain range being between them! Meaning that most visitors to the Yarra don’t make the journey. But the higher altitude and cooler climate of the Upper Goulbourn, along with the free draining soils, is perfect for Pinot. And the clean water sources and thickly forested surrounds make the vineyard virtually free of pests and disease.

 

The vineyard sits within the spectacular Cathedral Ranges
The vineyard sits within the spectacular Cathedral Ranges

‘This place really is Victoria’s best kept secret’ says Madge. ‘The quality of the fruit and the wines being produced here is just outstanding.”

It’s the loving hands, the scarcity and the absolute deliciousness of these wines that make them one of our best top secret discoveries. So, now that you’ve found out about them, do yourself a favour and make the effort to get your hands on some of this fabulous wine. Go to their website: www.LittleCathedral.com.au or find them at some of the lucky locations listed below.

Oh, and these days Madge is a total Pinot convert. ‘I just absolutely love the stuff!’ she laughs.

[alert-note] Little Cathedral Vineyard are our featured winery of the month for April 2014 in our online wine club! You can try their wines for yourself at a great price delivered to your door – you can even get a two pack for just $8 delivery. Read all about it and access the great offers here.  [/alert-note]

 

Anna Pickworth and her vineyard dog Spider
Anna Pickworth and her vineyard dog Spider
Madge Alexander and her vineyard dog Nina
Madge Alexandra and her vineyard dog Nina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best place to buy Little Cathedral Vineyard wines are direct from them. But if you’re lucky enough to be near one of these places you can find them here too:

Melbourne 

  • Gertrude St Enoteca and wine bar – Gertrude St Fitzroy
  • Blackhearts and Sparrows – Scotchmer St Nth Fitzroy
  • Olde England Thirsty Camel Bottle Shop – Heidelberg
  • Kommune Canteen Wine Bar – Brunswick St Fitzroy

Sydney 

  • Bottle O – Bourke St Darlinghurst

Regional Victoria – Upper Goulburn Region

  • Alexandra Thirsty Camel Bottle Shop
  • Alexandra Foodworks Bottle Shop
  • Mansfield Thirsty Camel Bottle Shop
  • Yea Foodworks Bottle Shop
  • Rennies Restaurant – Acheron
  • Fragas Cafe  – Marysville