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BASILS FARM - OUR HOME BASE
After World War 1 Crown land was set apart for returning soldiers to buy or lease in what were then considered remote rural areas to guarantee a population expansion and to increase infrastructure in the area.
Soldiers who were successful in gaining such a block of land had the opportunity to start a farming life in a number of rural activities.
The original owners of Basils Farm were known to have built a 60 foot boat that was used to haul timber between the local area and Melbourne. Since those early days the Basils Farm site has played host to a number of diverse owners and also been the site of the local primary school. Indeed, numerous bottles still containing ink have been dug up around the property. Within the Ramsar wetlands there is also a National Trust listed bluestone dam wall, which is still in use today.
‘Basils Farm’ was originally named after one of its owners, ‘Basil Halsall’, who shot to fame as winner of the 1953 Sun Tour cycling race, Australia’s most famous cycling event that still is held every year.
After Basil Halsall sold the property, all owners since have all retained the name. Pinot Noir vines were first planted in 1997 by Shadowfax Wines viticulturalist- Andrew Tedder. The first bottling took place in 2004.
THE KILTYNANE CONNECTION:
Kate Kirkhope commenced her involvement with the vineyard at Basils Farm in 2007, seeing the wonderful waterside site with its struggling vines. The unique soil geology was exciting in itself – bio-dynamics would play an integral role now in bringing the best of this geology to the character of the wine.
Immediately Kate set out to innoculate the soil with the preparations 500, manure concentrate and various teas she made on site, populating the soil with beneficial microbia and bacteria. That vintage, in addition to the traditional aromatic, pretty wine produced, the Pinot Noir showed some wonderful structure and layers, not seen before. The rest is history - the wines from the farm continue to delight and the effort continues as other challenges raise their head.
Following the devastating bushfires in the Yarra Valley in 2009, Kate sold her Yarra Valley property and moved with her wine making and her wine to Basils Farm – closer to family, to be by the water and to move to a lifestyle a little easier. Following the move, the two wine businesses merged and now come under the Kiltynane Wines umbrella.
From 2011 the Pn2, Basils Farm and Kiltynane Estate Premium wines are made from grapes sourced at Basils Farm and a small group of growers known for their personal dedication to quality and terroir. These families are part of our wine story now.
We are currently building an artisan cellar door facility at Basils Farm which we hope to be open before too long. We will be open Sat/Sun 11.00am to 5.00pm and Monday Public Holidays from 11.00am to 4.00pm. Most years we will probably only open from Oct 1 throught to the end of Easter, but this year due to the late opening we will open as many weekends as possible. To check, just drop us an email.
The new cellar door will make the most of the fantastic water views across the Ramsar wetlands to Queenscliff beyond. Visitors will be able to enjoy a glass of wine in the garden. Our range of Pinot Noirs from the most accessable up to our ultra Premium Kiltynane Estate Range, plus our Rhone style Shiraz and Wild Fermented Rose will all be available to the public.
Our new website will have a fantastic shopping facility and our "Harvest Club" members will be the first to be invited to our onsite events, tutorials, wetland walks, picnics and new release tastings. If you're not a member of the Harvest Club already, please drop us a line at: email@example.com with your name, address, telephone number and we'll make sure you are included.
From us all at Kiltynane Wines and specially myself Kate Kirkhope, I look forward to welcoming you to our home base here on the beautiful Bellarine Peninsula.