Fighting Gully Road New Releases

Mark Walpole and partner Carolyn De Poi began the development of their Aquila Audax Vineyard in 1997. It is situated between 530m and 580m above sea level: the upper-eastern slopes are planted to pinot noir and the warmer western slopes to cabernet sauvignon; there are also small quantities of shiraz, tempranillo, sangiovese and merlot. JAMES HALLIDAY

Well-respected viticulturalist, Mark Walpole has been working with his site for the last decade and in that time he has drastically reworked the vineyard to support alternative varietals such as Shiraz, Tempranillo and Sangiovese. Working on shale and granitic soils, there is a sense of playfulness to his wines, making them an accessible introduction to an audience who otherwise have been slightly priced out of the area. In addition to his own vineyard, he has also gained access to the famous Smith vineyard, planted in 1978 with Chardonnay and Sauvignon, and Adrian Rodda just recently joined him in the winery. So it’s a kind of viti/winemaking dream-team. Big things already happening here and we suspect there’s oven better to come.