Autumn 2017 Newsletter

Posted: April 05, 2017 Category: Newsletters

"Autumn is here and the vines work hard to ripen their bunches of beautiful golden and black grapes. In fact it is more meaningful to reflect on the growing season that was. Spring and bud burst was late after a very wet winter with the rivers close to bursting their banks for weeks and weeks on end. As the vines came out of dormancy and started their growth, it was a bit scary on a few occasions as the mercury dropped below zero degrees but thankfully not low enough to cause serious damage to our vines. Flowering follows bud burst by roughly six weeks so again we noted that it was later than the last few years. The weather stayed warm to hot over summer without any extreme damaging heat waves. Rain kept falling on a regular basis and at times Evan would just get a mildew and botrytis spray on and then have to repeat it all over as it had rained yet again, and  again, and again. However veraison (that’s when the grapes start to soften and colour) began on cue, six weeks after flowering and we allowed ourselves to get a little excited as harvest follows verasion by, you guessed it, six weeks."

Kel Boynton

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Summer 2016-17 Newsletter

Posted: November 19, 2016 Category: Newsletters

Finally we have had some warm weather up here or down here  depending on where you live in Australia. Mind you the warm days have well and truly been outnumbered by cooler/colder ones, with intermittent snow falling on Feathertop and Mount Hotham and light frosts chilling down our vines to the minus one degree on numerous occasions. Luckily they can cope with light frosts – minus two is death.

When we have had the warmer days the vines have responded with a rush of growth and the vineyard looks an absolute treat. The  record rainfall experienced early in spring saw only minor flooding and again no damage was visible. In between the wet days we have been busy planting the rest of the Montepulciano, Tempranillo, Sangiovese and a new block of Cabernet Sauvignon. So now when you look out across the vineyard from the lawn at the winery you don’t see a big hole of unplanted trellising where, sadly, the last of our
25 year old Shiraz vines where pulled out because of phylloxera. There will only be two patches left to plant next year, one at either end of the steep hill. At one end I’m putting in a very old clone of Malbec that is very hard to get at; and at the other end, in front of our house, goes the fifth clone of Sangiovese. It will be an amazing accomplishment to have the replant completed. Just over fifty acres in total.

Also in this issue:

  • Kel expalins his close planting strategy for our vines
  • We get excited to launch our new website !
  • His middle daughter Carla gets married at Feathertop Winery
  • Caroline shares her Chocoalte and Beetroot Cake recipie that featured at the recent Spring Long Lunch
  • We host a Summit Cru Wine Club event for 125 people in Melbourne

To read the newsletter in full, please click here


Autumn 2016 Newsletter

Posted: March 17, 2016 Category: Newsletters

"Summer to date in this beautiful valley has definitely been warm enough yet interspersed with regular and good rains. Everything is still looking green and the vines lush. We did get smacked by hail around Christmas with the vines nearest the winery copping an absolute beating by the 80-100km/h winds that were driving the hail horizontally at the vines. Thankfully it was a narrow strip that whipped down from Porepunkah then petered out not much further down the valley than our vineyard. The bottom line for us is probably as little as 15% yield was lost. "The early varieties are just beginning to colour (called verasion) which indicates that we will start harvesting in the third or last week of February. Harvest is the most exciting time of the year. This is time when the real truth is laid bare and any shortfalls and errors of judgement in the vineyard become glaringly evident." Kel Boynton Also in this issue:

  • The vineyard team are preparing for harvest 2016 and Kel explains how the magic happens from picking the fruit in the vineyard to fermentation.
  • Kel reviews some of our current cellar door releases including the 2008 Black, 2012 Blanc de Blanc (new!), 2014 Fruilano, 2015 Pinot Gris, 2015 Savagnin, 2012 Shiraz, 2013 Merlot and the 2014 Tempranillo.
  • We announce a new dining experience available for Summit Cru members - private degustations in the Alfresco Dining Restaurant; and
  • We take 5 with Robbie Clarkson our Sous Chef.

Spoiling those who need it most on World Cancer Day

Posted: February 08, 2016 Category: Latest News Comment: 0

On World Cancer Day on February 4, Feathertop Winery held it’s forth Spoil Me Day pampering event where our local women recovering or undergoing treatment for cancer could enjoy a break from medical appointments and daily routines and have a special afternoon of pampering at no cost to them.

Spoil Me Day was made possible through fundraising at Feathertop Winery’s Ladies Day Out, which has been running for 9 years and has now raised over $16,000 for the charity’s trust fund.

This regular fundraising by the community enabled the winery to put on a four course lunch with wines, treatments and gift bags and recruit a support team of masseuses, hairdressers, speakers and make-up artists to pamper the ladies at the completion of their complimentary lunch and drinks.

One of the volunteers who helped organise the event, Kerry Marsden from Wangaratta, said it was a wonderful success. “Everyone was just blown away. The participants and the helpers all had a fabulous time. I wish I had a recorder to let you hear the beautiful comments made to me about the day.

Everything from the invitations, the venue setup and program, the food and wine, the pamper stations, the gifts, the people and the very caring atmosphere that was created were all really appreciated”, she said.

“The most touching comment I heard was from a lady who originally took a lot of encouragement to come along. She told me this was the best day she has had in her whole life”. They all loved the day,” she added.

Feathertop Winery owner Janelle Boynton, came up with the concept in order to provide an avenue of support that would directly benefit people in our local community. The first year’s initiative saw the winery purchase a large amount of televisions for the Myrtleford/Bright Hospitals before the development of the Spoil Me Day events which now also include events for mens health issues.

The next fundraiser for Spoil Me Days will be the Ladies Day Out on Saturday December 3, 2016. It’s a fabulous afternoon of food, wine, live music just for the girls! Tickets are $70 and on sale now. Includes lunch, return local bus transfers, live entertainment, fantastic auction goodies to bid on and a donation to the Spoil Me Day trust. For more information go to or by phone the winery direct on 5756 2356. If you know anyone who is having a tough time on a cancer journey please contact the winery so they can be considered for these future events.

Feathertop would like to acknowledge the local businesses and volunteers for their contribution in to making this day so special for the women:

Angela Verde – Guest Speaker, Michael Finch Make Up, Jacinta Power – Feathertop Spa, Shannan Hilary – Feathertop Spa, Emma Lighton – North East Massage, Bright Florist – Sam Stacey, Shennan Hairdressing, Julie Graves Hairdressing, Wangaratta Breast Care Nurses, Myrtleford Breast Care Nurses, Go Girls Wangaratta, Faye Bushby Massage, Kerry Marsden, Kim Marsden Massage, ‘Ladies Day Out’ Attendees, Feathertop Winery staff and our amazing volunteers: Jean Freeman, Sue Box, Susan Cuthbert, Thelma McDonald, Fran Kneebone, Joy Jones.

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