Mount Pleasant Wines

Old Hill

Home to Some of Australia’s
Most Historic Vines

The Old Hill vineyard was already 42 years old when Maurice O’Shea arrived from France in 1921. It is here O’Shea recognised the hills of the Southern Rhone Valley – rising toward the Brokenback Range. This historic hillside site of rich soil and granite is home to the oldest Pinot Noir vineyard in Australia – and produces some of our most prestigious red wine.

The Story

1880

Charles King, a cattle farmer by trade planted a hillside with vines. Hundreds of them, all planted close together and rising all the way to the steep hill’s crest.

1921

Maurice O’Shea with his French mother Leontine and his brother Jack, purchase the 40 acre Old Hill property. Whilst undertaking the relentless and back-breaking work to bring Mount Pleasant to life, Maurice knew he had something special.

1921

As work was undertaken to bring the vineyard up to its full potential, Maurice also planted additional varietals including the Mothervine Old Vine Pinot Noir which makes Old Hill the oldest Pinot Noir vineyard in Australia.

1923

The first effective harvest and vintage where Maurice worked seemingly 24/7 from the vineyard to the winery with no electricity. Experimenting with individual small batches to understand the different characters, colours and notes expressed by the Old Hill. Working against the heat of an Australian summer to control the fermentation required to create good table wine, it is no exaggeration that his pioneering methods to create the 1923 vintage would go on to change the face of winemaking in Australia.

To this day, Old Hill produces reds of unmistakable distinction and consistency promising earthy reds with a structure and fruit intensity that can age for decades.

Old Hill Location

Pokolbin, Lower Hunter Valley, NSW

Elevation

60-100m

Varieties

Pinot Noir (1.68ha)
Montils (.1ha)

Vine Orientation

North-South

Vines Per Hectare

1790

Row Spacing

3.6m

Vine Spacing

1.5m

Harvest

February – entirely handpicked

Irrigation

Drip irrigation

Trellising

Vertical Shoot Positioning with sprawl.

Soil Type

Red and yellow Podzolic over medium clays.