Major changes at Curly Flat and Shadowfax

Curly Flat Vineyards (Photo: Curly Flat Wines)

Significant changes have happened at two top-end Victorian boutique wineries, Curly Flat and Shadowfax. Curly Flat’s co-founder Phillip Moraghan has left and Shadowfax founding winemaker Matt Harrop has taken over as winemaker.

Moraghan, who with his team made all the wines at Curly Flat from its first vintage in 1998, sold his share of Curly Flat to his ex-wife Jenny, who has taken over the running of the business.

Harrop and his wife, Tamara Grischy, have been living in the Macedon Ranges for the last six years so the move was not a big one. While the Shadowfax winery is at Werribee, between Geelong and Melbourne, Harrop had been taking grapes from Macedon for some of the top Shadowfax wines as well as his and Grischy’s own brand, Silent Way. They also have their own small vineyard in the Macedon Ranges, which is where Harrop patently sees his future. Grischy also works in wine – as head of wine auctions at Langton’s.

Curly Flat is a leading producer of cool-climate pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot gris.

“I’m very excited to be here,” Harrop told me last Thursday. “It’s bloody cold, but we love the place.”

He sees his first task as getting to know the vineyard and understand how things work at Curly Flat – not to make major changes.

“It’s about the vineyard, not me.”

He is excited to be working with an established 30-year-old vineyard, which is the biggest in the region at 33 acres.

“Macedon is actually a massive geographical area but the plantings are small. There’s no broad-acre viticulture up here. This (Curly Flat) is the biggest by a long shot. There are lots of small holdings. You can’t just go out and buy a few tonnes of fruit here and a few tonnes there like you can in the Yarra Valley.”

It will be a major change for Shadowfax, as Harrop had been there for 19 years.

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