The Hidden Valley and the home of Yow Yow Wines
Nestled within the upper reaches of the valley at a high elevation is an entirely secluded vineyard, the home of Yow Yow - 120 acres with 80 acres under vines covering 9 different grape varieties of which some go back 35 years.
“So what”, one might say “it’s just another vineyard within the Yarra Valley Appellation?”
“Not so” says Walter McNally who, after looking for 3 years, finally found his holy grail in 2016.
It was so captivating he turned his back on a number of other vineyards that are well recognised and in much better locations that were up for sale. So what is so intriguing about this vineyard? What is all the mystery and fascination about in this ‘Hidden Valley’ with its rolling scenic hills?
Indeed our vineyard has all the historical credentials and the capability to produce stunning fruit as epitomised recently when Coldstream Hills won two gold medals for its 2017 Rising Vineyard Single Estate Chardonnay which is made solely from our grapes.
So what about its history?
Well, 160 years ago the creek was being panned by Chinese gold miners who were called for reasons that are now obscure “Yow Yows”: hence the name of the creek. We would like to think that nothing has really changed; instead we now produce ‘liquid gold’.
And there is good reason for thinking that way. The vineyard has an illustrious history of supplying the highest quality fruit to major wineries in the Yarra Valley in particular Coldstream Hills where it has the top fruit supplier rating. So what is changing? What is Walter all about with his holy grail?
Astoundingly with all this amazing fruit the previous owner did not produce his own wine even though the property has the capability of producing over 200 tonnes per annum.
After 35 years he handed the keys over to the new owners Walter and his wife Jennifer who could see the uncrowned jewel needed its ultimate coronation: and that’s how it all started 3 years ago.
In reverence to its 160 year history Walter and Jennifer decided to honour the gold miners and their quest and so they called their own personal select wine “Yow Yow”.
As it was back then the Holy Grail was gold and now for them the equivalent is liquid gold. So the best of our vineyard is enshrined under its new label “Yow Yow” with its aim to deliver the best of the Hidden Valley’s secrets to real wine lovers coving our unique blocks of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc vines.
So what is the secret that is being unlocked by Walter?
The vineyard is totally unlike those in the Yarra Valley as it has its own unique eco system, terroir and climate and does not produce the voluptuous fruity genres that people associate with that geography. Rather, the flavour of “Yow Yow” is a creation of refined elegance and style which is distinctly Burgundian in taste as you recognise each wine’s earthy and mineral overtones.
The wines dance on your palate with an endless aftertaste that few wines can deliver while remaining perfectly balanced. It is so unique that when you open each bottle you need to let it breathe for some time so that the full story can unfold and present its true majesty.
All this is not surprising when you see the formidable, captivating, steep sloping terrain of the Hidden Valley vineyard that nestles at the back of the Yarra Valley. A distinctive region all by itself that is an exemplar of cool climate wines in Australia.
Don’t just take Walter and Jennifer’s words for it: experience it yourself and you too will be captivated by the wines whether it be Yow Yow’s Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and White Gold and, in time, our Sparkling range of Shiraz and Blanc de Blanc which are only 18 months away.