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Giant Steps `Tarraford Vineyard` Chardonnay

Yarra Valley, Victoria

Giant Steps

While the Innocent Bystander wines are made from grapes grown across the Yarra, the Giant Steps wines are produced exclusively from single vineyard sites...

Grapes are selected from estate-owned and leased vineyards, as well as from long-term contracted growers. Head winemaker Steve Flamsteed and his team are making some of the best wines in Australia from these sites. Their aim is to express in each wine the character of the site, grape and vintage, and this they achieve by meticulous work in the vineyard and minimum intervention in the winery. Wines from their three main vineyard sites (Sexton, Tarraford and Applejack) have won 12 trophies and 27 gold medals across all wine shows in the last four years.

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Located in a protected valley 100 metres above sea level, the 21 acre Tarraford Vineyard has a discrete microclimate that is cooler than neighbouring sites. Vines were planted on the rocky clay loam soils in 1998. A diversity of aspect and clone provides multifaceted winemaking opportunities. The team are committed to exploring biodynamic farming practices with the overall aim of further developing the vineyard fingerprint and embracing the unique personality of the site.

Vintage information

2012 was not an easy growing season, but a very rewarding one if the vineyard was managed well. Spring rain gave healthy canopies. Mild summer days with plentiful warmth and sunshine - thankfully without the heat spikes of warmer vintages – and an Indian summer that stretched into April were perfect for ripening late in the season, with harvest taking place on the 19th and 20th of March. Fruit condition across the vineyards was excellent, and wine quality across the board is very high.


Fruit was hand picked and whole bunch pressed to tank. The juice was transferred to 500 litre puncheons after eight hours of settling. Fermentation with indigenous yeast took place in 20% new oak, 30% one year old and 50% older oak for nine months at 18-24°C. The lees were stirred weekly, then monthly between May and August. No malolactic fermentation took place. The wine was transferred by gravity to tank with its fine lees in December, for six months elevage in stainless steel. Bottling took place on the 16th of May 2013.

Tasting Notes

Orange citrus and ginger aromas are supported by subtle nectarine, almonds, sourdough bread and faint smoke and toast. Though the wine has seen oak, it is very restrained. Delicate flavours are outlined by a chalk and slate character. The palate is savoury, well-integrated and beautifully defined.

Vintage information

Vintage 2012
Grape varieties 100% Chardonnay
Region Yarra Valley, Victoria
Winemaker Steve Flamsteed
Consultant Winemaker Tim Shand & Phil Sexton
Alcohol (ABV) 13%
Acidity 6.41g/l
Residual Sugar 1.01g/l
Wine pH 3.2