Our passion is making beautiful wine grown Biodynamically to harvest the unique flavours of the Hunter Valley.
We started Macquariedale back in the early 1990’s as an escape out of the Sydney corporate world. Derice and I (Ross McDonald) started the dream with an acre or so of Shiraz and Chardonnay close to the Hunter River at Branxton. From those early steps a fully Certified Organic/Biodynamic vineyard has evolved at Sweetwater Rd, Rothbury, being in the Lower Hunter winegrowing region.
The vineyards now comprise of approximately 15ha which are home to outstanding Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Semillon, Chardonnay and Verdelho. We also have a small plot of Pinot Noir which is just coming into maturity. Derice, our children and I have immersed ourselves in country life and live sustainably producing garlic, olives and olive oil and beef cattle, as well as growing vegetables and many varieties of fruit.
Following our natural winemaking passion, our small sustainable winery specialises in converting small parcels of grapes into the most delicious natural wines available in Australia.
We developed a Wine Club – Savour Life Club – to be able to share our wines with Members who also love beautiful wine and appreciate sustainble life. Our wines can also be sourced through independent speciality bottleshops and fine local restaurants.
A SNAP SHOT OF ROSS & DERICE McDONALD
I have been an avid wine consumer for most of my life and then turned my passion into a journey of a wine business. Understanding the toxicity of the chemicals that are used in the food chain from my training as a Chemical Engineer has been instrumental in following the sustainable path in the vineyards. Derice’s intuitive passion for truth and integrity in all things has lead the way to a more natural approach to the winemaking process. By minimising the high levels of sulphur found in most wines, using wild yeast where possible and eliminating fining agents has lead to wines which are more reflective of our local terroir.
BACKGROUND ON OUR VINEYARDS & WINERY
As the organic/biodynamic approach has taken hold we have found that our adjacent neighbours in Sweetwater Rd have taken the plunge and joined into our Biodynamic Certification. This evolution has enabled Macquariedale to expand our range of varieties and to be more self sufficent with our grape supply. We anticipate that this cooperation will extend to other local vineyards who wish to follow this sustainable path. The grape varieties that we have in our vineyards were first planted in 1999 are the most successful varieties grown in this region and have a long history of producing outstanding wines in the Hunter regional style.