The evolution of Bloodwood Riesling, Orange NSW

As Orange’s founding winegrower approaches four decades of winemaking, they have released their new 2018 Bloodwood Riesling.

The Bloodwood vineyard was planted in 1983 with winemaker and owner Stephen Doyle admitting that it took ten to 15 years to really understand the vineyard in order to get the style right. “The Bloodwood style moved around a bit in the early years as we gained experience and a better understanding of our site.

“Ideally, Riesling, regardless of residual, should sit on a knife’s edge between fruit and acidity with the taster constantly questioning that fine line.

“Over the years I’ve been working a little more on the mid-palate in order to build texture. The current style works best with the grapes from our unique site. We concentrate on a clean, efficient ferment minimising volatile acidity and extended ferment character. We’ve been building texture on the mid-palate since 2008, giving the wine at least six months on fine lees.”

The Scott Henry trellised Riesling vineyard sits on the higher reaches of the property. “The soil is very low-vigour, calcareous laminated silt stone and shale, the vines are all hand-pruned and hand-picked, and grown using organic principles, only ever using copper and sulphur sprays, and only if we have to,” explained Stephen.

“It’s a variable site, so each vine is pruned according to its vigour, with the aim to produce around 4000 litres from the 0.8-hectare block. The deep, free draining warm gravels of Bloodwood give Riesling an austerity and fruit density which remains rare in Australian styles.

“The Orange region is in its infancy and is still working out how to grow the traditional varieties; this needs time.”

Stephen’s foray into winemaking and brewing started early. One would think that being born in Clare*, making Riesling was inevitable, however the journey begun with the brewing of mango liqueur as a schoolboy. From these entrepreneurial exploits, Stephen made wine from many areas including Mudgee, Wellington, McLaren Vale, Coonawarra and Yenda.

After being schooled in the arts and science of selecting the best sites for wine production the Doyles’ attention turned to Orange. “The region held exciting prospects which continue to unfold.”

Pricing & distribution: The Bloodwood wines are distributed directly from the winery via Bloodwood’s website

  • 2018 Bloodwood Riesling   $32.00