Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz 1991 1500ml

Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz 1991 (1500ml)

Sale price$450.00
Heathcote, Victoria, Australia

Style: Red Wine

Variety: Shiraz

Closure: Cork

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Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz 1991 (1500ml)

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Burke Road
Camberwell VIC 3124

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Producer: Jasper Hill

Country: Australia

Region: Heathcote

Vintage: 1991

Critic Score: 94

Alcohol: 13.0%

Size: 1500 ml

Drink by: 2035

Still fresh and sweet fruited. Still in very good order - Andrew Caillard MW

Jasper Hill, founded by Ron and Elva Laughton in 1975, is a Heathcote institution. The iconic Georgia's Paddock Shiraz, named after their daughter Georgia, is the archetypal Heathcote shiraz;  wonderfully rich and full-flavoured. The first vintage produced was 1982. Today, after more than 40 vintages, this wine has a long established record for ageing gracefully. Fruit is sourced from the Georgia's Paddock Vineyard, which is located on the famous Cambrian soils that are over 500 million years old.

"Still fresh and sweet fruited with developed roasted coffee. Roasted walnut flavours and fine plentiful looseknit velvety tannins. Finishes graphite firm. Still in very good order but drink soon."  Andrew Caillard MW (Tasted Aug 2017)

"The red wines of Jasper Hill are highly regarded and much sought after, invariably selling out at cellar door and through the mailing list within a short time after release. These are wonderful wines, reflecting the very low yields and the care and attention given to them by Ron Laughton. The oak is not overdone, the fruit flavours showing Central Victoria at its best."  James Halliday

"In every sense a classic Georgia’s, from its obvious colour depth through to its lingering full finish. Deep crimson red, with rich ripe aromas of red berries and blackcurrant with eucalyptus/minty hints. Full palate with peppery spiciness balancing the natural acidity with noble tannins. Drink during the next decade, maybe more."  Jasper Hill

Expert reviews 

"Medium deep crimson. Developed leather, spice, espresso aromas with herb garden, tobacco notes. Still fresh and sweet fruited with developed roasted coffee. Roasted walnut flavours and fine plentiful looseknit velvety tannins. Finishes graphite firm. Still in very good order but drink soon. Now – 2025."  Andrew Caillard MW - 94 points (Tasted Aug 2017)

Ron & Emily

Ron Laughton, Jasper HillRon Laughton established Jasper Hill winery in Heathcote with his wife Elva in 1975. Today, the estate continues to produce some of Australia’s most compelling and sought-after wines. Ron’s background, however, is not that of a traditional vigneron.

He was raised on a farm on Melbourne's suburban fringe, surrounded by sheep, men who drank beer, and hard work, and from there he became a leading food technologist with one of the nation's largest dairy co-operatives. Travelling to the big milk factories in Victoria's north, he noticed something different in the landscape around Heathcote, with great potential for making wine: a strip of deep red soil, which we now know as the Cambrian soil of Heathcote.

The thought of growing grapes and making wine had been in the back of Ron’s mind for a while and so he pounced when he saw a 'for sale' sign on an eight-acre shiraz vineyard while he was driving through the area. That land became what is now referred to as Emily’s Paddock, named after Ron and Elva’s eldest daughter. More than 45 years on, Ron is widely acknowledged for establishing and shaping Heathcote wine region and as one of the pioneers of the biodynamic movement and use of organic techniques in Australian viticulture. In 2006, Ron was inducted into the MFWF Legends Hall of Fame.

"The reason I got into this industry was because I like messing about and making things. After a childhood on a farm, training in science and spending my early career in the food industry, grape-growing, winemaking, and building and operating my own small business was a great fit for me; it required a combination of these many skills. Maybe it's in the genes as well. My maternal forebears were Scottish horticulturalists and raspberry growers in the Yarra Valley."  Ron Laughton

In 2022 Ron officially retired after celebrating 41 vintages at Jasper Hill. Today, Ron and Elva live amongst the vines on Emily’s Paddock, and their daughter Emily McNally is now in charge.

The above text is taken from 'Five minutes with a Legend: Ron Laughton', melbournefoodandwine.com.au 

Emily McNally, Jasper HillJasper Hill’s Ron and Elva Laughton have officially retired after 41 vintages and their daughter Emily McNally is now in charge, together with her husband Nick. But Ron and Elva’s low-intervention approach to their métier continues in the shape of their daughter. The vineyard is unirrigated and certified organic. There is a complete absence of interest in pumping up the grape yields, or extending the plantings to ramp up production.

Emily’s own wine is a shiraz named Occam’s Razor, made from bought-in grapes, and first produced in the 2001 vintage. Emily and her close friend Georgia Roberts also produce an excellent white wine also made from other people’s fruit: Lo Stesso Fiano.

But the main task is running Jasper Hill, which recently celebrated its 41st vintage, together with husband Nick who Emily describes as fulfilling a similar role to her mother Elva’s in relation to Ron.

"Dad was the one who was always the public face of Jasper Hill but Mum was a very important integral part of the business. She was involved in the vineyard, winery, cellar door, looking after customers and so on. Nick does that role in reverse for me. I couldn’t do what I do without him." They’re also raising two children, presently aged nine and eleven.

Taking over a vineyard and winery from parents isn’t unusual these days. "I’m taking over the winemaking role more and more. It’s been a long, slow process. 2015 was the first year I really started taking over. Mum and Dad were travelling in Europe, expecting to be home for vintage, but I had everything picked before they got back. The grapes couldn’t wait." The resulting 2015 Georgia’s Paddock Shiraz made it into Wine Spectator’s annual Top 100 Wines feature. "So that helped!"

Emily is not qualified in oenology: she commenced a winemaking degree in 2003 which she didn’t finish. She trained as a primary school teacher, travelled the world and returned home in 2001, but she’s been 'doing stuff' in the vineyard and winery since she was a child.

"I didn’t grow up thinking I was going to be a winemaker. Second and third generation winemaker friends like Liam Anderson (of Wild Duck Creek) and Simon Osicka (of Paul Osicka Wines), their desire for a wine career was greater than mine. I came into the business wanting to see the family business remain the family business, and I’ve grown to love it more and more. I’ve got friends who can remember all the significant wines they’ve drunk, and where and when, but I don’t remember those details, although I’ve had plenty of great wines. It’s the experience that matters most…who you’re with and where you were."

Will there be any big changes at Jasper Hill?

"I don’t want to fix what’s not broken," says Emily, at the same time acknowledging that although her parents have retired they’ll probably continue to 'micro-manage' the place.

The Laughtons do things their own way. They stay much the same while the region is blooming with vineyards and wineries. "We’ve just got our first set of traffic lights in town." It’s not like the Yarra Valley.

"I like that about Heathcote. The majority of visitors come prepared; they come to see us on purpose, they make appointments." They don’t just wander in by chance. "They have genuine interest. They want to taste and they want to learn."

I notice that the website mentions Jasper Hill is organic, but not biodynamic. It used to be biodynamic. Says Emily: "I’m not religious in any way. There were some things in biodynamics I found difficult to comprehend. Biodynamics is good because it’s on the back of organic. It’s organics that is the good thing. If people using biodynamics make good wine it’s because they are so attentive to what they do. If I got sick I wouldn’t go to a naturopath, I’d see a doctor."

While 2022 has been a godsend, with high quality wine and plenty of it, and the vines in good health, there have been several difficult years for Jasper Hill. Successive dry seasons resulted in poor yields and stressed-out vines. The unirrigated status of the 22 hectares of vineyards, which has been a cornerstone of the Jasper Hill philosophy, is now being questioned.

"We made a Georgia & Friends Shiraz in 2020, with some bought-in fruit, because our yields were so low. 2021 was a very small vintage too, because we had to spare the vines." After a drought, it’s normal to prune hard so that the vines don’t have to carry a normal load the following season while their reserves are depleted. "Then 2022 was ‘Woo-hoo!’ A good quantity of wine and the vineyard is looking better than it has for years."

However, the experience of the 2019 and ‘20 summers prompted Emily to put a dam in. "If we have another summer like that, I need to keep the vines alive. I wouldn’t be irrigating to increase the yields, but to save the vines. So we don’t have another two years when we have to prune them back hard. We haven’t put irrigation in yet, but it’s possible we could do it in the future. There will be more dry seasons to come."

Does she have a philosophical opposition to irrigating vines? "I’d rather avoid it if I can. I see wine as a luxury item. We don’t need it to survive. What we do need is clean water and healthy food. Wine is a precious luxury. I have issues with irrigators who irrigate irresponsibly. We have to be responsible with our water."

Amen to that. Keep it simple; try to make do with what nature gives you; don’t interfere if you don’t have to. Don’t fix what’s not broken.

It’s all part of the down-to-earth Jasper Hill way.

The above text is taken from an article by Huon Hooke in The Real Review

The vineyards

Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock VineyardJasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Vineyard, with Mt Ida in the background

The two Jasper Hill vineyards, Georgia's Paddock and Emily's Paddock, are named after the Laughton daughters Georgia and Emily. The vineyards are 1 km apart and are both situated on elevated hillsides at an altitude of 320 metres. Although Heathcote is certainly an arid region, the vineyards are unirrigated (dry grown) and rely on natural rainfall only. No synthetic chemicals have ever been used in the vineyards. 

Both vineyards are on the famous Cambrian soils, derived from 5000/60 million-year-old Cambrian period basaltic rock. They are quite rare in the world because of their great age. In Heathcote they are unusually deep (up to 4 metres), rusty red coloured, well drained, gravelly loams on undulating hillsides, with good moisture retention capabilities. Occurring in a narrow, non-contiguous strip between two north/south running faults, they are typically only a few hundred metres wide. The faults give rise to complex mineralogy within the soils.

The vineyards are planted on their own roots to retain purity of style, rather than grafted onto Phylloxera-resistant American non-vinifera rootstock. The vines have a sunny, open, balanced canopy that keeps fungal diseases at bay and eliminates the need for summer pruning, leaf plucking and crop reduction. All picking and pruning is carried out by hand. 

Georgia’s Paddock is thirteen hectares in size and is planted to 9 ha of Shiraz, 2.1 ha of Riesling, 1 ha of Nebbiolo and 0.9 ha of Fiano (grafted onto viognier). The Shiraz and Riesling were planted in 1975/76 with further small plantings added after the vineyard was ravaged by bushfire in 1987, while the Nebbiolo was planted in 1993. Georgia’s Paddock fruit goes into Jasper Hill Shiraz, Riesling and Nebbiolo under that vineyard designate, and the Fiano goes into the Lo Stesso label which Emily makes with her winemaker friend Georgia Roberts. The vines yield an average of 3 tonnes/hectare.

Emily’s Paddock is three hectares in size and is planted primarily to Shiraz with around five percent planted to Cabernet Franc. The vines were planted as foundation blocks in 1975/76. The vines yield an average of 2 tonnes/hectare. 

Georgia’s Paddock has a NW aspect and the classic deep soil, while Emily’s Paddock has a NE aspect and shallower soil.  

The text below is taken from an article that appeared in Young Gun of Wine 

Jasper Hill is one of the great foundation stones of Victoria’s Heathcote wine region, with Ron and Elva Laughton not just making iconic wines from the russet Cambrian soils but also being somewhat of a leader in low-impact viticulture. Today, Nick McNally tends to the land and vines along with his wife Emily – Ron and Elva’s daughter – who makes the wines. The vineyards are named after the Laughton daughters, Emily and Georgia.

"We are fortunate that our vineyards are in that right spot," says McNally. "Central to the region of Heathcote, slightly elevated from the township, which was built along the creek line, protected in part from the ridge running up to Mt Ida on the east and the remnants of another ridge line to the west. Each of these ridges runs north to south …both are fault lines. Dating back to the Cambrian era when volcanoes laid down rock, which after millions of years of weathering is now our top and subsoils, rich in minerals and rather deep in areas, making it ideal for our hero of the region, shiraz."

Biodynamic practices were long a feature of the farming at Jasper Hill, but the focus now is on organics, but more importantly it is on farming methods that have been honed over the decades. "Our farming practices are an evolution of what has been learnt over 40 plus years," McNally says. "In the beginning, there was Ron, Elva, Emily, Georgia, a few dogs, chickens and a goat. The climate was somewhat stable, with the ebbs and flows of floods and droughts typical for Australia. …There was an understanding that the soil had to remain healthy. So, no synthetic herbicides were used. Mulch and compost were collected, made and applied by hand."

It’s a simple reflection, an unassuming one perhaps, but that’s very much how McNally views the management of the 100 or so hectares of land and 20-odd hectares of vines. With all that has been learnt, their education about the land is an ongoing one, and though seemingly long, that 40-year survey is a blip in the history of wine growing. He is also wary about throwing around words that might put "a green halo on things".

"Greenwashing is a problem, which we are strongly opposing," says McNally. "As our industry practises come into question, we to have to be honest with how we operate. We are keen at looking into new ideas for our farm to lower the impact. We have solar power, and I drive to work in an electric car. I’m waiting for an electric tractor to become affordable and available, just as I will replace the forklift one day soon with electric. We only use tank water for the winery, our vineyards are unirrigated. To scare birds, we replaced gas guns and vineyard laps in vehicles with drones and lasers. …We’re also in talks with the glass producer to make the same shaped bottle we use in a lighter version… More will happen in the future… the list goes on."

The non-vineyard land is also gradually being restored, with trees being replanted as time allows and livestock no longer run across the property. It has been a decade now without grazing, with nature being allowed to retake the land. "Trees are growing, waterways are flowing; it’s such a small area but the impact is heart-warming," says McNally.

With Ron and Elva Laughton now officially retired, the property is now run by the next generation, with a small contract team for pruning, shoot thinning and picking. "Jasper Hill at present is Emily and I and one casual employee," says McNally. "We grow the grapes, make the wine, and meet the customers. We practice maximum intervention viticulture. Twelve months of mostly hard work, rewarded by the fruit that’s produced. Hand-picked, hand sorted, 100% de-stemmed into spotlessly clean stainless-steel tanks for a natural ferment. If we haven’t intervened 100 plus times before this stage, then we haven’t done our job. As Tim Rogers sang, 'And there’s nothing romantic about the hours I keep…'"

The vineyards were initially established to be cane pruned, but now the century-old Poussard Method is being employed to mitigate trunk disease and increase general vine health. That came about via viticulture consultant Tim Brown who was engaged to "bring in a new set of eyes," says McNally.

"This has paid off as we recover from the last drought event and feel more prepared for the inevitable dry seasons ahead. Shifting our view that a vineyard should fill the paddock and focus on sites that clearly survive best has been favourable to our time management. Removing unhealthy and poor yielding parts of the vineyard has been a blessing. We know where our best fruit is, years of driving around tasting grapes, looking at canopies, digging into the soil, there’s no better place to learn than in the vineyards."

Being organic, copper and sulphur are permitted for disease control, but they are used minimally, with seaweed preparations and compost employed to boost soil and vine health. Nitrogen-fixing cover crops are planted between the mid-rows, which are cultivated alternately, while weeds are mechanically removed from the under-vine area. Tractor use is kept to a minimum to avoid soil compaction.

Given the dry-grown nature of the vineyards, planning for the upcoming season is critical to success, with bud numbers determined by the predictions for the weather. As the year progresses, shoot thinning is determined by how that season plays out. This quest for balanced vines is true of all vineyards, but with currently no recourse to irrigation (that may change as the climate warms, but only as a mechanism for survival of the vines), careful observation and ongoing fine tuning is critical, and the results speak for themselves.

"The vineyards are full of vines that I describe as my motley crew, but I love them, and the fruit flavours and natural acidity are fabulous," says McNally. "It is planted on soil older than dinosaurs, and we are doing our best to mitigate the changing climate. The soil and vineyard are first and foremost the most important factor behind a great wine. Tending to these vineyards is above all a passion, and it’s addictive. The heartache and hard work needed is wearing and fulfilling." 

About the winery

Winemakers Ron Laughton and daughter Emily McNallyWinemakers Ron Laughton and daughter Emily McNally  

Jasper Hill is a Heathcote institution and was one of the pioneers of this exciting wine region. The estate was founded by Ron and Elva Laughton in 1975 and comprises two vineyards planted on the famous Cambrian soils which are over 500 million years old. The first vintage produced was 1982. The latest 2022 vintage was their 41st.

The two vineyards, Emily's Paddock and Georgia's Paddock, are 1 km apart and are named after the Laughton daughters Emily and Georgia. The estate is planted primarily to shiraz and produces the iconic Jasper Hill Emily's Paddock Shiraz and Jasper Hill Georgia's Paddock Shiraz.

The estate is farmed using organic principles. No synthetic chemicals have ever been used in the vineyards. The low-yielding vineyards are dry grown and rely on natural rainfall only. The vines are planted on their own roots to retain purity of style, rather than grafted onto Phylloxera-resistant rootstock. The vines have a sunny, open, balanced canopy that keeps fungal diseases at bay and eliminates the need for summer pruning, leaf plucking and crop reduction. All picking and pruning is carried out by hand.  

Ron Laughton was the winemaker until 2001 when he was joined by daughter Emily. The father-daughter team jointly made the wine until 2015, when Emily started to take over. Ron officially retired in 2022 after celebrating 41 vintages at Jasper Hill.

Ron and Elva Laughton now live amongst the vines on Emily’s Paddock. Emily lives on Georgia’s Paddock vineyard with her husband Nick McNally, who helps Emily tend to the land and vines. Georgia enjoys doing most of the administrative work. A real family affair.

Wine region map of Victoria


Victoria is home to more than 800 wineries across 21 wine regions. The regions are Alpine Valley, Beechworth, Bendigo, Geelong, Gippsland, Glenrowan, Goulburn Valley, Grampians, Heathcote, Henty, King Valley, Macedon Ranges, Mornington Peninsula, Murray Darling, Pyrenees, Rutherglen, Strathbogie Ranges, Sunbury, Swan Hill, Upper Goulburn and Yarra Valley.

Victoria's first vines were planted at Yering in the Yarra Valley in 1838. By 1868 over 3,000 acres had been planted in Victoria, establishing Victoria as the premier wine State of the day. Today, the original vineyards planted at Best's Wines are among the oldest and rarest pre-phylloxera plantings in the world.

Victoria's climate varies from hot and dry in the north to cool in the south and each wine region specialises in different varietals. For example, Rutherglen in the north is famous for its opulent Muscats and Topaque and bold reds, while the many cooler climate regions near Melbourne produce world class Chardonnay and pinot Noir. Victoria is truly a wine lover's playground.