While visiting with David Lowe at Lowe Wine in Mudgee NSW Australia, David poured us a glass of his 2015 Riesling from Nullo Mountain. In addition to the Tinja vineyard where the winery is located and where we were sitting, David gets fruit from Orange as well as from a unique vineyard outside of Rylstone.
Rylstone is a town within the Mudgee Region about 45 minutes Southeast of Mudgee. This heritage town is the gateway to the Wollemi National Park and the Bylong Valley.
If you continue past Rylstone and head north east you come to Nullo Mountain, a high mountain plateau. It is here that you will find Louee’s Nullo Mountain vineyard. The vineyard is 4.45 hectares growing Riesling, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, pinot gris and Nebbiolo.
“This is from a vineyard in Mudgee that is organic and bio-dynamic. It was a vineyard that I semi-leased I suppose, it’s a Riesling and it grows at 1100 meters (that’s 3600 feet!). So we are climatically in the Pfalz region of Germany.”
David Lowe, October 2019
Managing Acidity in high altitude vineyards
1100 meters is quite a difference from the approximately 470 meters that the Tinja Vineyard sits at. David turned to organic and biodynamic winemakers in Pfalz including Bürklin-Wolf to learn about how they handle riesling at this altitude.
David explains that with high altitude sites, you must deal with acidity differently.
In most of Australia and much of the west coast of the United States you have warm to hot climates which translates into wines with little acid that need to be ameliorated. (Ameliorate is defined as “to make better, but in wine it is more specific. To ameliorate a wine is to add water to the unfermented must.) It’s different in cooler climates.
“Acidity has flavor and fruit, so you have to manage the acidity and sugar balance. So we’ve made this wine. We keep it 4 years because as a young wine it’s a bit acidulous, and it’s developed it’s own texture in time with age. People are responding to the fact that it’s a fresh clean limey wine, but the bottle age is just a bit more complex. We’ve taken the edge off the acidity. That’s volcanic soil grown 70 km from here. So we are climatically in Germany, 70 km from here.”
David Lowe, October 2019
This wine was beautiful and bright and David expects it will mature and develop over the next 20 years.
More to come…
We will continue our conversation with David, diving into the drought, soils bio-dynamics and more.
Links for more details…
If you want more information on Lowe Wine you can check out some other pieces we have written below. We will also give you the link to their website as well as a link to Visit Mudgee, where they have great information on this entire region, including Rylstone!
- Rylstone from Visit Mudgee
- Visit Mudgee
- Nullo Mountain
- National Zinfandel Day with an Aussie Zine from Lowe Wine
- Lowe Wine – a brief history with David Lowe
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Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.
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