Leogate Estate is a sustainable estate at the foot of the Brokenback Ranges in Australia’s oldest wine-producing region, the Hunter Valley.
First planted in the 1970s by “one of the founding fathers of the modern Australian wine industry”, Len Evans AO OBE, current custodians Bill and Vicki Widin bought the original 50-hectare under vine Brokenback Vineyard in 2008. Bill and Vicki were former Angus producers in the Tamworth district at ‘Middlebrook Park’. They have used their own knowledge and experience on the land, along with the expertise of others such as senior winemaker Mark Woods, to reinvigorate the property and build the successful wine brand they are known for today.
The Widins and senior winemaker, Mark Woods, have presided over international accolades including the IWC Trophy for Best New Wine, wines poured in Qantas First and Business class over the past five years, and various medals have been awarded on the national wine show circuit for their prestigious wines.
In eleven years of business, Bill and Vicki have driven significant expansion including establishing a winery, cellar door, restaurant, and function centre and in later years acquiring a certified organic, high altitude, 25-year-old vineyard in the Central Ranges, NSW.
Bill and Vicki have also developed a global presence through developing strong relationships with distributors in China, UK, and the USA. James Halliday’s 2020 Australian Wine Companion gave Leogate Estate a red 5-Star Winery rating for the ninth year in a row.
The established grape varieties we have growing on the vineyard are: Shiraz, Tempranillo, Chardonnay, Semillon and Verdelho. Other plantings on the vineyard are: Merlot, Viognier, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer. A large majority of our Shiraz vines are dry grown and have been that way for approximately 40 years.
Mark, what excites you about your role as the winemaker for Leogate Estate Wines?
Having the opportunity to work with a low yielding, high quality, established vineyard with an excellent history of producing premium grapes for winemaking is quite exciting. The winemaking technique employed at Leogate is designed to capture and express the uniqueness of our Brokenback Vineyard terroir whilst respecting and embracing regional identification.
What’s old and what’s new at Leogate Estate Wines?
Firstly, the vineyard is very established with many of our grape vines over 40 years of age. This is of benefit to us as the crops yields are relatively low producing wines with great concentration of flavour. Secondly, we have constructed on the vineyard a new winery, cellar door, function room and restaurant. This is very exciting as we now have a modern winemaking facility to best manage the age and intensity of our premium grapes.
Did you know...
The Broke Road entrance is framed by large cast iron gates embellished with lions rampart, hence the wine name & label – 'Leogate Estate'. These large iron gates & the lions are the guardians & protectors of the famous Brokenback Vineyard.