Beechworth is a hillside winegrowing region with a range of altitudes and different topographical aspects that allows for the premium production of several grape varieties. Beechworth is situated at elevation on the continental side of the Victorian Alps; this allows for warm, sunny days to reliably ripen the crop, as well as cool nights, which temper any heat and produce wine grapes with natural balance and elegance.
Climate – Mean daily temperatures decline with elevation. The area surrounding the township of Stanley (720m) experiences, on average a heat summation over the growing season (Oct-Apr) of 1,240° Degree Days, while Beechworth (550m) has 1,420° Degree Days, Wooragee (300m) 1,687° Degree Days and the Golden Ball area (280m) 1,725°Degree Days. The influence of elevation on temperatures also applies to mean relative humidity, where cooler denser air collects on valley floors leaving the higher areas with a drier atmosphere. Rainfall averages vary widely throughout the district from over 1,200mm at Stanley to around 650mm on the lower western extremes.
Soils – The Beechworth GI wine region covers most of the elevated land surrounding the townships of Beechworth and Stanley, stretching northward through the settlement of Wooragee; westward to the edge of the Everton Hills and the lower open grazing land; and south to the escarpment above the Murmungee basin. Significantly, the region occurs at the watershed of two drainage basins, the Ovens (including the King, Ovens, Buffalo and Buckland Rivers) and the Kiewa. The elevation and freestanding nature of the region means that water is shed in all directions of the compass. The region consists primarily of two major base rock groups: Ordovician greywacke, sandstone, mudstone and shales; and Devonian granites a
Harvest Time and Wine Type - With the diversity of altitude both picking times and wine types vary considerably depending on site and season variances. From quite cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay which when picked as sparkling could be as early as February through to late March for the complex table wine styles. Shiraz typically starts from early March in the lower vineyards through to April in the cooler sites. Nebbiolo may be picked as late as May.