Biodynamic Petit Verdot


Bill Downie

Bill Downie is famous for his striking William Downie Pinot Noirs from Gippsland...

(where he lives), the Yarra (where he makes the wines) and Mornington Peninsula. These wines are produced in tiny quantities, so Bill spends most of his time telling people his wines are sold out. When he came across this biodynamic Petit Verdot vineyard in South Australia, he saw an opportunity to make a wine an accessibly priced wine that would be available in greater volume. But because the vineyard has been organically managed for the past 15 years, and was recently certified as biodynamic, he also saw a site that fitted in with the philosophy of grape growing he pursues on his own vineyard in Gippsland. The wine offers great value and individuality from one of Australia’s great young talents.

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Situated on the Murray River, close to the town of New Residence, the Petit Verdot vineyard is planted on deep red sandy loam. Unlike many vineyards in this part of Australia, it is tended by hand, so the quality of the grapes is outstanding.

Vintage Information

After a dry spring, December and January were cooler than average. February 2015 was warmer which completed the ripening perfectly and resulted in well-balanced healthy grapes.


Bill is typically modest about the winemaking. “This wine made itself,” he says. “Beautifully ripe grapes were harvested in the cool evening and the naturally occurring yeast in the vineyard piggybacked on the grapes into the winery. This yeast conducted the fermentation, and once finished slowly settled to the bottom of the tank. The resultant clear wine was taken off the top and bottled unfiltered.”

Tasting Notes

The resulting wine has a deep colour, dark berry fruit aromas on the nose that are ripe and intense with ink and violets. Ripe, fleshy fruit on the palate is nicely supported by rustic tannins.

Vintage Information

Vintage 2015
Grape varieties 100% Petit Verdot
Region Riverland, South Australia
Winemaker Bill Downie
Alcohol (ABV) 13.5%
Acidity 6.2g/l
Residual Sugar 0.2g/l
Wine pH 3.7