Freycinet Vineyard

Producer website

Absolute dedication, no compromise

Inspired by the tremendous opportunities of the East Coast of Tasmania, Geoff and Susan Bull cleared the site in 1978, planted the first vines in 1979 and established the first commerical winery on the East Coast. They were early pioneers in a new region which years later revealed exciting quality potential in wines. The region now boasts over a dozen different vineyards.

The Freycinet Vineyard and Winery is family owned with daughter Lindy Bull and her partner Claudio Radenti taking over the family tradition of gently handcrafting the wines.

About Freycinet Vineyard

The winemakers - Claudio Radenti and Lindy Bull

Tasmanian born Claudio Radenti's interest in wine came about at an early age from helping his father who like many Italians made wine annually for the family. Claudio fondly recalls, when aged just 6, turning the grape crusher handle for his dad.

Winemaking became a hobby which then developed into a career. After graduating as a Bachelor of Applied Science in Oenology from Roseworthy Agricultural College SA in 1982, Claudio carried out vintages at Pipers Brook Vineyard (Tas) and Tyrrells (NSW), followed by 6 years at Cassegrain Wines (NSW). Winemaking at Cassegrains also involved overseeing contract work in Coonawarra, Mildura and Griffith.

Claudio worked the 1987 and 1989 vintages in Bordeaux and travelled to various wine regions in France and Italy. Claudio was senior winemaker at Goundrey Wines (WA) in 1990 and 1991 which is where he met his life partner Lindy Bull. In 1992, Claudio returned to his home state to be with Lindy at her family's Freycinet Vineyard.

Lindy's interest in winemaking developed from helping her mother and father Geoff and Susan Bull establish Freycinet Vineyard. Lindy graduated as a Bachelor of Applied Science in Oenology from Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1989 and in doing so, she became the first Tasmanian female to graduate as a winemaker.

Her work experience included vintages in Clare Valley (SA), New Zealand and France, as well as winemaking at Goundrey Wines followed by spending the years since 1992 at the family vineyard and winery.

Lindy and Claudio also travelled together to various wine regions in Italy, France and USA.

Wine Making

Geoff and Susan Bull first planted vines at this site in 1979. Geoff and Susan developed the site over the next two decades establishing a small winery and tasing area. Freycinet Vineyard won a number of national show awards during this time and the established a reputation as one of Australia's premier producers of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Since 1992, daughter Liny Bull and partner Claudio Radenti have continued the family winemaking tradition with their three children; Giorgio Geoffrey (13 years), Pino Joseph (10 years) and Pia Susan (6 years). Lindy and Claudio are passionate about their vineyard and are extremely focussed on maximising quality from it year on year.

"The Freycinet Vineyards are beautifully situated on the sloping hillsides of a small valley. The soils are brown demosol on top of Jurassic dolerite, and the combination of aspect, slope, soil and heat summation produces read grapes with unusual depth of colour and ripe flavours. One of Australia's foremost producers of Pinot Noir, with a wholly enviable track record of consistency - rare in such a temperamental variety."

-James Halliday - Australian Wine Companion, 2010.

The cool Tasmanian climate in combination with our unique vineyard site provide ideal conditions for fine, elegant yet powerful wines. Situated on the 42 degrees latitudinal line, the vineyard overlooks the spectacular Freycinet Peninsula and is approximately 100m above sea level and just 20km from the coast. The average annual rainfall is around 70mm (except in drought years).

Our vineyard boasts some features which facilitate the ripening potential of the site. The total size of the vineyard is 14.25 hectares.

Perched on some gentle slopes in a small sheltered valley, the original Vineyard site has sometimes been described as an amphitheatre and heat trap. This 4.0 Ha amiphitheatre site, comprising The Hill and The Paddock contains the origianl plantings which form the base of our flagship Freycinet range of wines.

The amiphitheatre's slopes provide enhanced sunlight interception and warmth as well as cold air drainage which eliminate menacing late spring frosts. It is not uncommon for our fruit to be harvested two to three weeks earlier than many other Tasmanian vineyards, due to the extra warmth of the site. This can be particularly beneficial, especially in the slightly cooler, wetter and lower sunshine seasons. The surrounding hills also protect against the prevailing westerly winds.

The north facing slope of the amphitheatre has brown dermosol soils over Jurassic dolerite (ie warm, shallow, stony and free draining with clay/loam texture) while the south facing slope that has black vertosol - i.e: black, crackling alkaline clay with good water holding capacity.

The Amphitheatre Site

In 1995, a second vineyard was added to form the base of our popular Louis range of wines - comprising the blended lighter, sweeter Riesling, the unwooded Chardonnay and the lighter, earlier drinking Pinot Noir. The 4 Ha Louis vineyard site was planted 300 meters away, lower down the valley adjacent to the original Amphitheatre Hill site, on a more gentle north to east facing slope.

A third vineyard site (Synotts) comprising 1 Ha was planted in 1995 and is 4kms west of the amphitheatre site. This is a classic continental climate site i.e: considerably cooler in winter and warmer in summer and forms the base of our award-winning Radenti Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay. The Louis and Synotts sites have brown dermosol soils.

In 2012 we acquired the neighbouring 42 Ha Coombend property from Browns Brothers the Victorian based winemaker. This includes 5.75 Ha of vineyard and 4.2 Ha of Olive Grove. We are thrilled with this purchase as it gives us highway frontage onto the busy Tasman Highway, and it proves scope for future generations of the family to expand should they wish to do so. We look forward to offering stunning Freycinet Sauvignon Blanc and Freycinet Olive Oil in the future!

All our vine stocks have been sourced from the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries who in turn recieved them from the CSIRO as disease -free clonal material.

Each vineyard site has been set up on a Lyre trellis system except for Synotts, which is on an adapted Sylvos system that provides frost free, disease free conditions as well as enabling easier pruning. Geoff Bull became convinced of the benefits of the Lyre trellis system having had the privilege of attending a workshop with Graham Wiltshire of the then Heemskerk winery who explained the adapted carbonneau split-trellis system developed by Professor Alain Carbonneau to provide better quality grapes with easier pruning.

In 1993, we commenced using screw caps, initially for the Freycinet Riesling and progressively for each of the wines, so that by 2005 all our wines were bottled with screw caps, except for the Radenti Sparkling.

The key and our goal in the vineyard is to grow a moderate yeild of fully ripened healthy fruit from well balanced vines. Considerable manual work is carried out in the form of hand pruning, shoot thinning/positioning, leaf plucking and hand picking in order to achieve this. The vine root systems are well established now, virtually eliminating the need to irrigate.

The Vineyard yeilds approximately 100 tons of fruit depending on the season and all the wine is vinified in our rustic looking Winery equipped with state of the art equipment. The winemaker's thumbprint is minimal in order to showcase the fruit, the Vineyard's terroir and the season's characteristics. Our wines are 100% grown, vinified and bottled on our estate with passion and dedication and in the spirit of true Vignerons.

Last edited on 7/9/2013 by MyCellar01

There are 3 versions of this article. View version history

Edit this Article

© 2003-20 CellarTracker! LLC.

Report a Problem