The Wood Park Wines vineyard is managed with a commitment to sustainable environmental practices and minimal chemical use. With a background in environmental science, winemaker John Stokes planted his Wood Park vineyard amongst regenerating natural bush land in the foothills of the Victorian Alps in 1989. At that time, wines in the King Valley were being made by the first wave of winemakers, predominantly, Brown Brothers. Through the 1980s, a second wave of winemakers was emerging.
In what has become quite an expansive repertoire, Wood Park Wines draws on fruit sourced from the diverse micro-climates within the King Valley and surrounding regions, ranging in altitude from 250m to 800m above sea level. Our wine making is a mix of traditional and modern techniques including plenty of hand plunging in open fermenters and use of wild yeasts.
Cabernet, Shiraz, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Petit Verdot, Viognier and Roussane are grown in gravelly clay on the warmer home block at Wood Park. The Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris varietals are from the cool Whitlands plateau in the south end of King Valley and Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc come from the high ridges of the Buckland Valley and the Chardonnay from 35 year old vines in nearby Whorouly South.
John Stokes discovered wine making from literally stomping on a small vat of his cabernet/shiraz grapes. It really was a surprise to win best overall wine in the local wine show. He won again for the next two years, and it became clear that a strong passion was unfolding. John went on to produce his hallmark Cabernet Shiraz Blend, but he needed a white. Local winemaker from Giaconda, Rick Kinzbrunner made the first four vintages of Chardonnay, in the Burgundian style that John has continued.
Since then, Wood Park Wines has earned its place in the forefront of the second wave of wineries from the King Valley with a strong following of supporters.