The dream started long before the acquisition of Koomooloo (vineyard site) in 1988. Philip spent years investigating and exploring many regions within Australia until by accident Philip noticed the undulating roll of the countryside when flying over the Orange region. After a few days of intense research into this highland area he returned the next week to find the region had a near-perfect balance of elevation and sunshine.
The adventure began when Philip purchased the land for his Koomooloo vineyard in June 1988. In close proximity to the region’s highest peak, Mt Canobolas, Koomooloo vineyard rises to an altitude of 900M with red loam soils over limestone.
- 20 years to find another 20 years to grow.
- Koomooloo - 47ha vineyard planted by Philip and family between 1988 - 89.
- The vineyard peaks at an altitude of 900M on the side of the extinct volcano Mt Canobolas.
- With less than 1% of Australian vineyards above 600M, Koomooloo is one of the highest vineyards in Australia (≥900M).
- Annual rainfall averaging 850mm, with the ripening months of Feb - Apr traditionally the driest.
- Although it’s not unusual to see snowfalls during winter and into spring, the altitude provides cooler conditions throughout the growing season.
- Deep aged limestone is at the base of Koomooloo with volcanic-rock soil forming the sub-section and the topsoil is predominantly wind blown fine red loess from Central Australia (150mm), some of the oldest on the planet.
- Koomooloo is a unique hand kept vineyard with a routine of hand pruning, shoot thinning, leaf plucking, crop thinning, and hand picking happening in multiples if needed.
In detail the Orange region and particularly Koomooloo Vineyard is perfect for the styles of wines Philip is keen to make - In reality understanding the uniqueness of this region has been an unravelling journey. To respect and work a vineyard like Koomooloo to its full potential is sometimes daunting, however the future is too exciting to sleep through.
Philip Shaw Wines are made only from the grapes grown on Koomooloo, a 47ha vineyard, most of which was planted in 1988/89. "I have waited a long time to make sure the vineyard has enough maturity before attempting to make wine from it."
"I think great wines should have silk, a softness, a texture – in chardonnay and pinot particularly but to some degree it should be in all wines. The tannins should be elegant and soft. It's about finishing a wine off, not refining it, but getting it right. It's in the making – a marriage between the vineyard and the winemaking. You only have to look at a lot of Burgundian winemakers where there may be 10 to 20 different vignerons in the same vineyard owning three to four rows each and the quality of the wines and differences in styles is just enormous – it’s not only the vineyard, it's the making, the union."
Philip has been making wine in Australia for more than four decades and he approaches each aspect of wine making with a healthy mix of innovation and unrelenting quality standards.