Helen’s Hill Estate is 100% family-owned vineyard and winery with all of the various benefits and wrinkles that come with running a family operation! They are the 5th generation of their families to farm – a fact which they are immensely proud of. Their corporate logo depicts the evolution of their enterprise. The wheat sheaf is where they all started, on the land. Some travelled the path of medicine; the serpent and the cross; some entered the world of trading financial markets; the bull and the bear; but we all ended up back on the land; hence the bunch of grapes.
What is Helen's Hill's philosophy?
Our main passion at Helen’s Hill is Pinot Noir. We have 65 acres of our vineyard dedicated to Pinot Noir – this includes varieties such as MV6, 114, 115, and a Pommard clone. Our Pinot Noir vines are now 16 years old and going strong! Running a close second favourite is our Chardonnay. We have over 16 acres of chardonnay at Helen’s Hill, with clones of PEN58, P76 and Mendoza featuring within the finished wine. Depending on vintage conditions, we also produce Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Cabernet Merlot and Syrah.
Where does the name 'Helen's Hill' come from?
During the process of inspecting the property now known as Helen’s Hill Estate (1996), the former owner, John Frazer, told the history of the property and why he had bought it back in the early 1950s. It turns out that back in the 1950s John was a businessman working in Collins Street and happened to meet a young lady by the name of Helen. Things progressed, the couple started courting and John plucked up the courage to ask Helen for her hand in marriage. Helen agreed, but on one condition; John had to buy a farm as Helen had, from a very young age, longed for a life on the land. Following his heart, John bought land in the Yarra Valley and the couple started a family and life on the farm. Tragically, Helen was diagnosed with cancer and passed away, leaving John and two very young children to carry on. Some 40 years later throughout our tour of the property John recalled a number of the many 'incidents' that seem to happen when you live on the land; “this is where Helen bogged the tractor” and “this is where Helen got put up the tree by the bull” and “this is where Helen planted our first apple tree” and “this is where Helen…" At the completion of the inspection when we were standing atop the highest hill enjoying the magnificent views of the Yarra Valley, John recalled that in her last weeks, Helen would love nothing more than to sit on this hill and look out at the sweeping farm land. He said, “This was Helen’s Hill..."
What makes your estate unique?
Truly great wine results from a partnership between the land and the people who nurture it. At Helen’s Hill Estate our 100% family owned vineyard and winery carefully balances traditional values and modern efficiencies to make exceptional cool climate wines. Our Yarra Valley vineyard is approximately 150 acres in size, and is located well above the valley floor. The block has a number of hills running through the property, which provide different soil types and micro climates, which combine to allow us to match these conditions perfectly to different grape varieties. Planting the vines in their right location is not only the first step, but the most important step. Judging by the success of our wines we feel that we are on, pardon the pun, solid ground!