Yarra Yering Dry Red Wine No 1 is one of the flagship wines from Yarra Yering wines who are arguably one of the best wine producers in the Yarra Valley wine-growing region of Australia. Yarra Yering Dry Red Wine No 1 is their Bordeaux style blend (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot), whilst the Yarra Yering Dry Red Wine No 2 is a Rhone style blend composed of Shiraz with a little Marsanne, Viognier and Mataro (Mourvèdre). These are their two most famous wines.
Yarra Yering was founded in 1969 by Dr Bailey Carrodus. Wine had been grown in the area from the mid 1800s, but by the 1920s, with the high price of wool, sheep farming rather than wine production has become the main focus of the region. Carrodus, however, saw the potential of the region to make great wines. After having studied horticulture and wine-making wine-making in New Zealand and Australia respectively he completed Doctor of Philosophy for research into plant physiology at Queens College, Oxford University in 1965. It was here than Carrodus discovered European wines and toured some of the best vineyards in France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. Eventually he returned to Australia teaching at Melbourne University whilst trying to identify vineyard sites where he could grow the European style wines he favoured. Eventually he found a site at the foot of the Warramate Hills and began planting in 1969. The first vintages of both the Dry Red No 1 and Dry Red No 2 were made in 1973. Carrodus continued to make the wines until his death in 2008, when the winery was purchased by businessmen Ed Peter and Reid Bosward.
As mentioned above the Yarra Yering Dry Red Wine No 1 is a Bordeaux style blend, it is dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon but there is also some Merlot, Malbec and Petit Verdot added. All the grapes are from the estate’s original vineyard planted in 1969. This original vineyard has a gentle slope with a northerly aspect and deep grey silty loam shot through with bands of gravel fulfilled all of his requirements. Good drainage, all day exposure to the warm sun, and enough elevation from the valley floor to avoid the spring frosts. Today, the estate comprises some 70 acres of vines in total, all grown without irrigation.
Grapes for Yarra Yering Dry Red Wine No 1 are hand-picked in 10kg boxes in the cool of the morning and delivered straight to the winery to ensure the best quality grapes. The grapes are then fermented using indigenous yeasts, with cultured yeast added part way through to ensure completion. Around 40% of the ferments have stalks added back in to contribute structure and aroma to the finished wine and one-third of the ferments are pressed after five days to complete fermentation in French oak barrels. The wine is then aged for 15 months in new French oak barrel before blending and bottling.
Winemaker is Sarah Crowe, 2017 Australian Winemaker of the year.