One of our Best Kept Secrets is that Best’s Great Western is home to some of the oldest Pinot Noir vineyards in the world. Best’s Old Clone Pinot Noir was first picked and labelled as Old Clone in the 2006 vintage. This wine's history goes back to the planting of Miller's Burgundy at Best's in 1868, when Pinot Noir vines were mixed in with Pinot Meunier.
In 1967, for the first time, we made wine solely from the Millers Burgundy planting of 1867 (prior to that, it’s believed this fruit was always blended). In the mid-1980s, Danny Schuster, a viticulturalist and author of several viticultural books, identified that the vineyard was largely Pinot Meunier but featured about 15% Pinot Noir, too. In the vineyard, there were two clones of Pinot Noir – one Swiss and one French. The French clone was deemed superior, so a further 11 rows of the French selection were planted in 1987.
The clones are very old and we still have the original 1868 vines which may possibly be the oldest living Pinot vines in the world. In 2006, fruit from those 11 rows was picked separately and made into the Best’s Old Clone Great Western Pinot Noir.
Best's Great Western Old Clone Pinot Noir 2006 - Victoria, Au
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