The first vineyard established on the productive Campaspe floodplain was the Charterhouse Vineyard at Runnymede (now Elmore) which was established in 1883 by H. R. Barrow (who was the father in law of the famous Bendigo Architect William Vahland.) Vahland took over the vineyard and farm in 1880 and then brought in special seedlings from his native Germany, as researched by Dr Robyn Ballinger, Vahland sold his award winning wine in a depot in Melbourne’s Swanson street and exported wine to Europe.
The Bendigo Wine Region, in which Avonmore Estate is found, has dry summers and wet winters and the main varieties planted are Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
In 1996 Pauline and Rob Bryans planted 2.4 hectares and planting completed in 2000 with the vineyard now being 8Ha.
Red varieties grown are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. White varieties: Viognier and Chardonnay. Wines were first released in 2000.
The entire vineyard and farm was converted to and certified by the Bryans as bio-dynamic planted on Biodynamic soil, rather than, as is usually the case, converted from conventional production.
The vineyard has seven different grasses, which are managed by slashing when required. Clovers and lucerne provide nitrogen to the vines, and oats, lupins, peas or red clover are sometimes sown.
Bio-dynamic means that the vines are grown under methods which activate and nurture both the soil and the vines.
It means not using any synthetic pesticides, fungicides, weedicides and fertilizers or other chemical additives.
Other techniques include growing a cover crop of grasses between the vines each vintage to aid in building up the soil nutrition.