• Pre Vintage Update 2019

    Date Posted: 20 Feb 2019

    I can't recall being so excited about an impending vintage since this time last year! Well, ok, so I am an excitable kind of guy but it really does look good this year.

    Fruit flavours are deep and intense, the low crop level is giving great concentration and the weather is ideal.

    We begin on Tuesday 19th February with the 114 clone of Pinot Noir and a small parcel of our old vine Sauvignon Blanc. We will ten move into the Chardonnay and the MV6 Pinot Noir which should all be harvested before the hot weather predicted for the week beginning 25 February arrives.

    That's important because it's a low acid year and this burst of hot weather will reduce acidity even further, meaning that acid additions would be necessary. The high temperatures will also cause the sugar levels to jump, resulting in high alcohols.

    The only disappointment is some sunburn on exposed bunches on the western side of our rows, especially in the Chardonnay. With careful picking, we'll leave that all behind but it's frustrating just the same.

    It only took one or two days over 40 C and given the low soil moisture, these western-facing bunches couldn't keep hydrated.

    Otherwise, it will be a great harvest.

    And I haven't even mentioned our Bordeaux varieties...they look superb although it's a few weeks before we get to them. The wine that I am most pleased with at the moment is our red blend (Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot) where we have had a run of great vintages.

    This year will be no different.


  • Mystery Pinot winner announced.

    Date Posted: 12 Dec 2018

    Our ever popular Mystery Pinot tasting at our cellar door had visitors guessing region, winery and vintage of the mystery Pinot Noir on taste.  Thank you for all of you who took part.  

    The wine on taste was ......

    Boat O'Craigo 2017 Black Spur Pinot Noir (Yarra Valley).  

    The winner of the competition is Danni Fraser who has won six bottles of Squitchy Lane Pinot Noir. 

    Congratulations Danni!

  • Summer 2018 Update - Vineyard

    Date Posted: 12 Dec 2018

    The man behind the vines at Squitchy Lane, Steve Sadlier gives us an update on the vineyard as we head into summer.

    What a difference a week makes with recent rains coming at such an important time for the Pinot and Chardonnay at Squitchy Lane.   Cabernet, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc flowering may be slightly interrupted, but I will take the rain any time.  With very dry conditions and a lot of cold morning starts in September and October, November has been one of the best.

    Vine health could not be better.  With strong, deep green colour in the leaves and strong growing tips, fruit set in the Pinot and Chardonnay has been ideal.  Although a little too early to tell in the late red varieties and Sauvignon Blanc but I am very confident that all will be well.

    As I write these few brief lines on the second week of December I couldn`t be happier with the vine and fruit progress at Squitchy Lane.  Two weeks ago we faced very low soil moisture levels and our dam that we rely on for irrigation purposes was only 60% full.  Whilst the water level in the dam has remained the same, November rains have delivered a huge sense of relief.  No doubt there is hot weather on the way but we are in a much better position to face it now.

    With roughly average temperatures and rainfall over the summer period, Vintage 2019 could be very satisfying.



  • Summer 2018 Update - Wines

    Date Posted: 06 Dec 2018

    Pinot month has come and gone at cellar door and already I miss it....we had some great fun with the mystery wine and thanks to all those who had a punt. Tasting some older vintages of Squitchy Lane Pinot Noir was fascinating also...you can see how well they age and right now the 2010 is in sparkling form.

    You can find the mystery wine's identity elsewhere on our website and after some animated discussion with those trying their luck, next time we will provide some options for you to choose from. This should make it rather less intimidating and give everyone a better chance.

    But to tell the truth, every month is Pinot month at my house where a bottle never seems to last long. Tasting my way through a number of different wines, I am increasingly happy with the Squitchy style. There is some vintage variation and we don't want to take that away but when all the stars align, there is a distinct "squitchiness" to our Pinot. 2010, 2013, 2015 and 2017 come to mind. Our style is a little more muscular and structured than many Yarra producers--perhaps not as intensely fragrant but more solid and deep. I am also very pleased that we were able to produce a Peter's Block in 2017, for the first time since 2013. We also managed to repeat it in 2018. So far, the growing conditions look like we may do so again in 2019 if the weather predictions prove correct.

    We are also keen to produce a straight Cabernet Franc next year, having sold out of the 2013 some time ago.
    I wish you all a happy, safe and joyous festive season and hope to see you at cellar door in the near future.


  • Squitchy Lane goes vegan

    Date Posted: 02 Aug 2018

    Well, that's not quite true--we have always made vegan-friendly wines but we didn't tell anybody. Now, with so much press and publicity about veganism, it's perhaps time to tell the story.
    For hundreds of years, winemakers have used various products, known as fining agents, to clarify and stabilise wine. The major purpose of animal products in fining is to reduce tannins and astringency, making wine smoother and more palatable. Such products include egg whites, gelatine and skimmed milk.
    At Squitchy Lane, we work very carefully in the vineyard and winery to make sure our wines are balanced and supple, thus avoiding the need for any fining. We think that's always better for the wine.
    So you can drink our wines, safe in the knowledge that they contain no animal products and that no such products were used in the winemaking process.

  • 2017 Rosé

    Date Posted: 08 Mar 2018

    With the last few weeks of warm weather ahead of us, what better time to talk about our 2017 rosé? It's a new direction for Squitchy Lane but it's proved to be a successful one, with a gold medal at the 2017 Yarra Valley Wine Show and great reception at our cellar door. Some people express surprise at the very pale colour so I explain that we make this wine just as if we were making Champagne where delicacy and finesse are the keywords. We don't want extraction of colour and tannins so we press whole bunches very lightly and run the juice straight to old barrels for fermentation. It's bottled early and that's about it. The use of cabernet franc and merlot is the secret and that's where the lovely crisp, floral and leafy flavours come from. I'm drinking a lot of this wine at home which is a pretty good sign. Last week, I bought a beautiful local smoked trout and made a salad with it, some boiled and sliced new potatoes, cherry tomatoes, a vinaigrette dressing with a scattering of salad leaves, topped off with some black olives and capers and of course a glass or two of rosé--bliss!

    And the good news is that the 2018 (still fermenting in barrel) looks very similar in flavour and style--and, of course, colour.

  • 2018 Vintage update

    Date Posted: 08 Mar 2018

    Another vintage gives us another chance to marvel at nature's unpredictable ways. Over the early part of summer, we had more rain than we've seen for years, mildew and fungal diseases threatened daily and the humidity was at record levels. Since then, we haven't seen a drop of rain and it's as dry as it was during the drought years a decade ago.

    That's not a complaint--I would not be happy if it was the other way round with the rain arriving now! The dry weather has allowed us to harvest at our own pace which means we can pick the fruit when it is ready, not when rain is threatening.
    As I write, only the cabernet sauvignon remains on the vine. We started harvest on February 20th with sauvignon blanc, followed a few days later by chardonnay and cabernet franc and merlot for our rosé. We left the pinot noir for a few more days to get some extra ripeness, true to the Squitchy Lane style.

    So far, the signs are good. I am particularly pleased with the chardonnay while the pinot noir is notoriously hard to gauge at this time. The sauvignon blanc has been made in quite a different style this year in response to a growing awareness of consumers' desire for un-manipulated wines. While Squitchy Lane wines have always been low-intervention with minimal use of additives (for example, all our wines are vegan-friendly), we decided to go for it and produce a wine with no additions, except for a small amount of sulphur dioxide before bottling. Hopefully, we can bottle without filtration and release the wine before the  end of this year. While it may not be to everybody's taste, it will be different and exciting.

    Soon, when the cabernet is in the winery, we will be looking anxiously at the sky and the weather forecasts for the rain to fall. Just give us a week.

  • Success at the 2017 Yarra Valley Wine Show

    Date Posted: 18 Sep 2017

    Squitchy Lane has success at the Yarra Valley Wine Show in September

    The Yarra Valley Wine Show presentation lunch was held at the RACV Club in Healesville on September 15th.  

    We are delighted to have received recognition for the high standard of wines that we currently produce.   

    Of the 5 wines we entered into the show, we received 3 Gold Medals and 2 Silver.  

    GOLD MEDAL – Squitchy Lane 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon

    GOLD MEDAL – Squitchy Lane 2017 Rose Cabernet Franc, Merlot

    GOLD MEDAL – Squitchy Lane 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot

    SILVER MEDAL – Squitchy Lane 2016 The Key Chardonnay

    SILVER MEDAL – Squitchy Lane 2016 Pinot Noir

    Each of these wines will be released later this year. We will be sure to let you know when they are available.



    Date Posted: 03 Apr 2017

    The winner of our mystery Chardonnay tasting at cellar door is:


    Natalie provided the best answer to the (very difficult) question of just where our mystery Chardonnay was from. In fact, the wine on tasting was
    2015 Jacob's Creek Reserve Chardonnay from the Adelaide Hills region.
    Not an easy one to guess but Natalie came closest with her Adelaide Hills/McLaren Vale blend option.
    A case of Squitchy Lane Chardonnay is on its way to our winner.



    Date Posted: 19 Dec 2016

    SILVER MEDAL: 2018 Victorian Wine Show
    SILVER MEDAL: 2018 Yarra Valley Wine Show

    GOLD MEDAL: 2017 Yarra Valley Wine Show

    GOLD MEDAL: 2017 Yarra Valley Wine Show
    BRONZE MEDAL: 2017 Victorian Wine Show

    TROPHY: 2016 Victorian Wines Show, Best Cabernet Sauvignon
    GOLD MEDAL: 2016 Victorian Wines Show
    GOLD MEDAL: 2017 Yarra Valley Wine Show

    SILVER MEDAL: 2017 Yarra Valley Wine Show
    SILVER MEDAL: 2017 Victorian Wine Show

    2016 PINOT NOIR
    SILVER MEDAL: 2017 Yarra Valley Wine Show

    2015 PINOT NOIR
    SILVER MEDAL: 2016 Yarra Valley Wine Show
    SILVER MEDAL: 2016 Victorian Wines Show

    SILVER MEDAL: 2016 Victorian Wines Show
    BRONZE MEDAL: 2016 Yarra Valley Wine Show