A Giant Player in the Industry
ON THE steep eastern slopes of the Grampians stands a vineyard celebrating the history of the region with innovative thinking.
Fallen Giants, at Halls Gap, has been exhibiting at the Grampians Grape Escape for four years.
The vineyard was planted in 1969, and supplied grapes to wineries near and far. After being a part of Mount Langi Ghiran winery from 1996, the Drummond family bought the business in 2014, and gave it a new name.
Fallen Giants represents the dreamtime stories of the original owners of the land the vines grow on – the Djab Wurrung and Jardwadjali people.
According to the legends, Gariwerd (the Grampians) was created by the great ancestor spirit Bunjil, who often took the form of a great eagle. The ranges were then further shaped by Tchingal – a giant ferocious emu – who split the mountains with his fierce kick.
Fallen Giants owner Rebecca Drummond, says the family has had a connection to the land and the thriving wine industry it plays host to, for many years.
“My brother had been working at Mt Langi Ghiran since 2007, so we have been involved in the wine industry up here for more than a decade,” she explains.
“We loved the vineyard and purchased it from them when it came on the market in 2014.”
The 23 acres hosts a majority of shiraz, with the addition of cabernet and Riesling.
Rebecca says producing the best quality fruit and in turn, the best wine possible, is what drives her.
This passion saw the winery receive 98 points from wine authority James Halliday for its 2016 Fallen Giants Shiraz and 2016 Block 3 Shiraz, quite an achievement in such a short time in operation.
Living and working in the region allows the Drummonds to have one of the most beautiful ranges on their doorstep.
“I love hiking with my kids,” Rebecca says.
She says the Pinnacle and Hollow Mountain are her two favourite walks in the national park.
The Fallen Giants cellar door is a family-friendly space, complete with playground, where the big kids are able to sample the wines, enjoy a platter and regular events.
Rebecca admits running a vineyard and winery comes with its challenges.
“Vintage is always challenging,” she says.
“You have so many unpredictable factors such as weather, animals and birds to contend with.”
But trusting themselves has seen the family build a strong line-up of wines.
Rebecca says the Fallen Giants 2017 shiraz, a cool climate wine, is the one to try and buy at the festival.
Rebecca’s personal taste is varied.
“I love trying different wines and I love that they are all different,” she says.
This might be why she loves the annual food and wine festival that is right on her doorstep.
“I love food and wine, so I love the opportunity to sample local wine and produce in the one location,” she says.
“The region has such high-quality food and wine, but is quite spread out, so it is definitely worth the trip to have the opportunity to sample them all in one place.”