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OUR HIDDEN GEM IN THE YARRA VALLEY

We found our hidden gem located down a county lane, in the dress circle of the Warramate foothills of Gruyere.
It is from here we set out to make wine with the charm of northern Italy but the provenance of the majestic Yarra Valley.

Award-Winning Wines

Our first vintages attracted many accolades including our exclusive Savarro winning consecutive trophies at the 2011 and 2012 Federation Square Wine Showcase as well as gathering not less than 14 medals and trophies.

As our wine flight expands, we continue to focus on styles from northern Italy including Savarro, Pinot Grigio, Ai Fiori (Rosata), Brachetto, Marzemino, Nebbiolo and Barbera as well as the eastern French varieties of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Viognier.

MEET OUR TEAM

Meet the members of our experienced team who work tirelessly to bring you the best Soumah has to offer.

Brett Butcher

Director

Overseeing the family investment, Brett has been involved in the wine business all his life. Initially in the domestic and international five-star hotel, on-premise business and then onto his role in helping set up Soumah as a premium wine producer. “We focused on the Yarra for its acclaim in producing cool climate, clear varietal wines with savoury elegance. The Soumah raison d’etre is to support this fame with the definitive vineyard site, nurturing viticulture and a focus on quality over quantity.

Scott McCarthy

Chief Winemaker

Scott was born into viticulture, growing up on a family vineyard in Mildura. He began his career in 1989 with Yalumba, then went on to gain worldwide experience in the Napa Valley at Oakville Ranch, Loire Valley at Jacques Lurton and over to Malborough at Rapaura. In 2005, Scott designed a new winery which formed a base to produce super premium wines.

Lucas Hoorn

Director of Viticulture

Lucas has 20 years’ experience in the viticulture industry, particularly in the Yarra Valley. He brings a wealth of knowledge to the SOUMAH team. He really enjoys the challenge of growing Pinot Noir and discovering what each season can bring, as well as all aspects of Italian grape varieties. Lucas enjoys spending his weekends with his family exploring other wine regions of Australia.

Dmitri Lazariuc

Director | Sales, Marketing & Logistics

Being a second-generation winemaker, Dmitri has been around a winery his entire life. Over the last 10 years he has gone from vineyards, cellars, barrel storages, anywhere where he could get his hands dirty with this glorious product we call wine to sales and marketing. At Soumah, Dmitri oversees national and global sales and distribution, promoting Soumah of Yarra Valley to the world.

Scott Bailey

Sales Manager

Scott has been managing bars and restaurants for the last 14 years throughout Tasmania and Melbourne. He brings a wealth of industry knowledge to the team and is currently studying every aspect of wine he can.

Mark Eppel

Sales Manager

Born and raised in the U.S, Mark has been a baker, a chef, a restaurant manager, and beverage director for several restaurants. His passion for wine lead him into selling and representing several international portfolio’s for more than 10 years. Mark owned his own wine education business in Colorado teaching people about wines from around the world. He studied winemaking in Napa, California while working in the cellars of several prestigious wineries. Mark moved to Melbourne 9 years ago with his family and loves cooking, eating, and drinking wines with balance and complexity..

Lucy Fisher

Cellar Door and Trattoria Manager

Born on the edge of the Yarra Valley, Lucy has worked in the hospitality industry, locally and overseas. Working in restaurants, hotels and bars, she has cultivated a passion for food and wine. Settling into Healesville ten years ago with her family, Lucy has immersed herself into everything the Yarra Valley has to offer. She loves nothing more than sharing her knowledge with everyone she meets.

Jak Kvalic

Head Chef

Ai Fiori’s Chef Jak has been serving up delicious plates to Melbourne foodies for the past 30-plus years. He has worked at the RACV Club, Myer, the Rialto, Arts Centre Melbourne as well as patisserie and Melbourne bakery institution The French Lettuce — just to name a few!

His plates are generous (just like a true Italian) and his desserts are to-die-for!

Damian Ware

Sous Chef

Damian has been working kitchens throughout Australia since his teenage years and has always had a love of food and travel. An indigenous man born in Queensland, he grew up in the Noosa hinterland and now lives in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges with his wife and young twins.

TJ Holmes

General Manager

TJ was born and bred on the terra rossa soil of Coonawarra, wine is in her blood. She completed an oenology degree at the University of Adelaide and has produced some great wines over 10 years of winemaking in Coonawarra. TJ and her husband moved to the Yarra Valley to become involved in its innovative wine and food culture and to nurture a love of Pinot Noir. Outside of work she keeps busy with her two children.

Georgia Mehrtens

Marketing Manager

Georgia and her partner relocated to the Yarra Valley from Marlborough a year ago, after spending over two years in the largest wine producing area in New Zealand. From hanging out in vineyards, wine cellars and cellar doors there’s no where else Georgia wants to spend her time!

Jane Lester

Finance

Originally from the UK, Jane began her wine experience working for a wine merchant in London, exporting wine to the USA. After moving to Australia in 1983, she worked in Finance and Hospitality balancing the books. Jane and her husband fulfilled a lifetime dream with a tree change, moving from the city to a five-acre sleepy hollow with their cats, dogs and chickens and they have never looked back.

TERROIR

Soil + Climate + People = Sense of Place

Loam Soil and Undulating Foothills

Situated an average of 120 metres above sea level, our vineyard is elevated up off the Valley Floor which gives some protection against winter frosts while gentle slopes help drain the soil. Our ancient, mountain derived grey sandy clay loams with broken sandstone offer water holding capacity to protect the vines from summer drought stress. Low fertility and lower summer rainfall naturally limit the crop.

Our Cool Climate Region

Cool nights and slow temperature rise during the day help us retain the unique aroma and flavour profile of every grape variety grown in our vineyard.

The Human Element

Ultimately, great wines are made in the vineyard and the healthier the vineyard the better the quality. Therefore, it is our greatest priority to make sure the vineyard is as healthy as it can be. It all starts with us, the people who take care of it. The passion of everyone involved ensures that the soil is balanced and the connection between the land and the wine is as strong as it can be to provide our creations a sense of place.

HOW WE FARM OUR LAND

At SOUMAH we have a ‘supervised control’ philosophy in relation to viticulture practices. The French call it lutte raisonnée or ‘reasoned fight’. The basis for this philosophy is to reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides as these will eventually degrade the soil and make a weaker vine.

WINE GROWING VALUES

At SOUMAH we believe in the following wine growing values:

1. Single Vineyard Focus

2. Cool Climate Styles

3. Quality Over Quantity

4. Research, Plant and Nurture

5. Our Wine Focus:
– Northern Italy: Savarro, Pinot Grigio,  Ai Fiori, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Marzemino and Brachetto
– Eastern France: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Viognier
– Ring in: Cabernet and its mates

6. The Pursuit of Savoury and Elegant Wines

7. We are Partial to Blue

LOCALE / PARISH: Warramate Foothills – Gruyere

ELEVATION: 110 – 150 Metres

ROW ORIENTATION: North South

VINEYARD FIRST PLANTED: 1997

SOIL: Sandy Clay Loam

TRELLIS: Vertical Shoot Position (VSP)

PINOT CLONES AND ASPECT:

MV6 – NorthWest; 777 – North East;

Pommard – South West; 115 – North West

CHARDONNAY CLONES AND ASPECT:

Mendosa – South West; Dijon95 & 76 – South West

HEXHAM VINEYARD

UPPER NGUMBY VINEYARD

LOCALE / PARISH: Yarra Glen – Burgoyne

ELEVATION: 90 – 110 Metres

ROW ORIENTATION: North South

VINEYARD FIRST PLANTED: 1997

SOIL: Sandy Clay Loam

TRELLIS: Vertical Shoot Position (VSP)

PINOT CLONES AND ASPECT:

MV6 – 1997 Eastern; 115 – 1999 Eastern;

(Western Hill Protecting From Hot Afternoon Sun)

CHARDONNAY CLONES AND ASPECT:

I Clone – South; Dijon 277, 95, 96 – East

Varietal Focus

We specialise in wines from eastern France and across to northern Italy. This relatively small area is home to the ancient grapes varieties and the origin of many of today’s most popular wines.

Over the centuries the varieties within this central European region became interchangeable and traveled back and forth. For example, did you know that Viognier is a distant cousin of Nebbiolo? And Savarro began its history in Bolzano, Italy but is today found in Eastern France as well.

Another interesting fact is that Pinot Gris (or Grigio) and Pinot Noir (or Nero) are both found in France and Italy albeit under different styles.