O'Shea & Murphy
Rosebery Hill Vineyard
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Grape Varieties

'Rosebery Hill Vineyard' is comprised of approximately 20 acres (8 ha) of grape vines:

Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc - 7 acres (2.8 ha)

A black grape variety, Cabernet Franc is well suited to cool, inland climates. It is very closely related to (possibly even a mutation of) the more popular Cabernet Sauvignon, but it is less sensitive to bad weather during harvest, and ripens earlier and more easily. For this reason it is often blended with the aforementioned relation. Cabernet Franc produces a light to medium bodied wine, lighter in colour and tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon, and usually with more immediate fruit flavours and herbaceous aromas.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon - 5 acres (2 ha)

Cabernet Sauvignon is a black grape variety, small in size with a high pip to pulp ratio (around 1 to 12), and thick distinctively coloured blue skins. It buds late and ripens slowly (making harvest times less crucial) but may not ripen fully in the coolest wine regions. The grapes produce a wine of rich deep colour (due to the small dark skinned berries) with high tannin and acid levels (a result of the relatively small berry in proportion to its pip). The wine evolves more subtle flavours with age and is ideally suited to such a purpose. Cabernet Sauvignon wines are often blended with other varieties such as Shiraz, Merlot and the closely related Cabernet Franc - thus counteracting potential ripening difficulties and adding more fruit aromas.


Chardonnay - 4 acres (1.6 ha)

This relatively thin skinned, yellow-green coloured grape ripens quickly and early, thus allowing it to ripen in even the coolest climates. Due to the rapid development, harvesting time is crucial as acid levels soon drop away after maturity. The wine produced from Chardonnay grapes depends largely on both the vineyard in which it is grown, and the wine making process. The basic wine itself may have only a hint of fruit, but further flavours are developed through the use of oak. Chardonnay is one of the three grape varieties (and perhaps the most popular) to be used in the production of Sparkling Wines.


Merlot - 2 acres (0.8 ha)

Merlot is a very popular black grape variety which is fairly resistant to wet weather, but is considered best grown in warmer (but not drier) areas. The berries ripen more easily and earlier (about a week earlier - similar to Cabernet Franc) than those of Cabernet Sauvignon, and are much larger and thicker skinned. Merlot grapes produce wines of rich colour and texture, embodying lush fruit flavours, and respectably retain acidity and tannin. While not as durable as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot wines are often blended with the former because of their complimentary flavour and the berries ripening attributes.


Shiraz (Syrah) - 2 acres (0.8 ha)

Australia's most widely planted black grape variety, Shiraz (or Syrah as it is known elsewhere) is more suited to warmer climates due to its late budding and ripening. The berries are large and of a deep purple colour. The warmer Australian weather produces a sweeter and riper tasting wine, however in cooler climates such as the Macedon Ranges (Victoria, Australia), the wine is more likely to incorporate pepper and spice characteristics similar to those of the Rhône. Shiraz wines are of a texture perfectly suited to ageing, resulting in long-lasting wines.

  • "The Oxford Companion to Wine" (Edited by Jancis Robinson) Oxford University Press 1994
  • "Grape Growing and Wine Making" (David Jackson and Danny Schuster) Alister Taylor Publishing Ltd 1981