Julian Castagna planted his Beechworth vineyard at a time when most Australian wineries were being seduced by Robert Parker’s gushing praise of thick, high-octane Shiraz. But that was not his style. Instead, he created wines of finesse, elegance and tension. Julian is a pioneer and his influence on the wine industry cannot be overstated. From the beginning, he aspired to focus on quality above all else.
Embracing his Italian roots, Julian drew inspiration from the great wines of the old world, creating wines that pair well with food- and thrive in our warmer climate. From the high altitude foothills of the Australian Alps, just outside of Beechworth, he championed the biodynamic principles set down by Rudolf Steiner.
The vineyards sit on decomposed granitic-loam over clay. At 500 metres above sea level, the cool evenings help to balance the daytime heat, allowing for slow, even ripening that creates consistency in the glass. With an increasing number of styles and varieties, Julian has remained steadfast so that his wines, their style and their ability to excite endures.
Embracing biodynamics from early on, Julian worked closely with biodynamic author Nicholas Joly in learning to understand micro-bacterial activity and living soils. No chemicals are used and companion crops are planted so that the entire vineyard works as a thriving ecosystem. The abundance of wildlife, the buzz of insects and bursts of colour are a testament to the ideals of treading lightly and working with nature.