The V³ Story
We were very frequent visitors to 'Oakfield'
in Mudgee, NSW, then owned by our good friends, the Wheelers,
and fell in love with the landscape, the lifestyle and the
people of Mudgee. Before
we knew it, plans were underway to make Mudgee our second
home. This was way back in 2000.
the V³ vineyard was born. Located in
Spring Flat, 8 kms out of Mudgee, it comprised of a single
6 acre, gently sloping, irrigated and NorthSouth-facing vineyard
made up of 27 rows — 13 Cabernet Sauvignon and 14 Shiraz;
both from original Barossa clones.
It was never our intention to sell up and leave our home in
St Ives, Sydney, but in 2011, the pull from the other side
of the Blue Mountains became too hard to resist. And in 2011,
we also celebrated 10 years of the passion, pain and pleasure
that accompanies this time-honoured tradition.
Both father and son love wine and every vintage is made in
a style endorsed by us. Traditional and elegant, rounded and
pleasurable to drink. Wine of character and quality.
We started small so that no commercial loan would dictate
the necessity to bottle our vintage at any set time, leaving
us to focus solely on the essence of great winemaking.
The Bird Battle. It's us against them for 6 weeks every year.
As soon as the grapes start to ripen, the starlings line up
along the electric fence wire, waiting for their V³
meal ticket. We've discovered their penchant for Cabernet
Sauvignon can be discouraged by a gas gun or four, as well
as some well-deployed netting.
But the biggest hiccup we had
was when we lost 40% of the vines shortly after planting.
The guys who set up the vineyard simply disappeared with their
money, leaving this Senior Executive city-slicker to figure
things out on his own. I felt like a kindergartner all over
again, except his time I was also strapped onto a speeding
rollercoaster! Working, learning, tasting, discovering a new
vocabulary, obsessing, stressing; yet still sharing a thrill
in watching the vineyard take hold. With diligence and the
right help, we climbed up the steep learning curve, accepting
each challenge with gusto and embarking on an unforgettable
And the reward awaiting us at the end is a real Aussie wine.
A beautifully structured blend of Cabernet and Shiraz epitomised
for me by Rockford’s Rod and Spur; Yalumba’s classy
Signature series and their Scribbler wines; and the Penfold
389s from the 1990s.