This multi-award winning Shiraz was awarded Gold Outstanding!
Highest medal award at the largest wine show in the world, 300 judges, 90 countries.

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Heathcote Exemplar Shiraz 2010


Halliday awarded 5 stars, 96 points.

The Godfather of Heath cote Shiraz, John Ellis put his 40+ years of winemaking skills to work to create this stunning example of the best Heathcote Shiraz.

Featured on the wine lists of Nobu, Flower Drum, Ten Minutes By Tractor,M on the Bund Shanghai, Mercedes Me Beijing.

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The Godfather of Heath cote Shiraz, John Ellis put his 40+ years of winemaking skills to work to create this stunning example of a Heathcote Shiraz.Smallest vineyard in Heathcote. 1 ton to the acre, two years in new oak. Halliday awarded 5 stars, 96 points.

Featured on the wine lists of Nobu, Flower Drum, Ten Minutes By Tractor, M on the Bund Shanghai, Mercedes Me Beijing.Shown globally. Multi award winning Shiraz, Gold at the China Wine Awards. This truly is a benchmark Heath cote Shiraz!

Silver International Wine & Spirit Competition Quality Award 2014 - Exemplar Shiraz

Silver medal :2014 IWSC Awards 90 Countries, 300 Judges

Exemplar Shiraz China Spirits Awards Gold Medal 2012

Gold Medal :2012 China Wine Awards 930 Countries,100 judges.

Australian Silver Wine Showcase - Exemplar Shiraz 2010

Silver medal :2014 Australian Wine Showcase Silver medal 2014 World’s Greatest Shiraz Challenge over 500 entries

Exemplar Heathcote Shiraz


This virtual winery was established by Peter Mornement. His philosophy (and businedd plan) as simple: to develop a portfolio of high quality, high-value shiraz from six premium shiraz-producing regions. Each wine would be made by a winemaker in that region with an established reputation, and a simple instruction from Peter: buy the best fruit you can, and use the new oak of your choice.

The quantity of each wine made will be 650 dozen bottles. He has joined forces with John Ellis (of Hanging Rock) for Heathcote; Walter Clappis and Kym Teusner (of their eponymous wineries) for McLaren Vale and Barossa Valley respectively. The wines are sold in a six-bottle case, the initial releases from Heathcote and McLaren Vale, only to subscribers. If all are as good as the first wine released, there is much to look forward to.


Wine Maker: John Ells

When Writers refer to John as the ‘Godfather of Heathcote Shiraz’. John owns Hanging Rock Winery near Mount Macedon in Victoria. John graduated Dux of his year in Oenology at Roseworthy College in 1971 and began his winemaking career with Krondorf and Yalumba wineries. In 1974 John became the foundation wine maker at the newly established Rosemount Estate, where the following year Rosemount won 2 trophies and 17 gold medals.

John is a board member of the Winemakers Federation of Australia. He is Chairman of the Royal Hobart Show and Show Judge at both the Rutherglen and Perth Wine Shows. John selected the fruit for our 2010 Exemplar Shiraz from the smallest vineyard in Heathcote. The vineyard yielded a little over one ton to the acre. The wine spent two years in American Oak barrels before being bottled, labelled and packaged which produced 650 dozen bottles.

John Ellis Heathcote Wine maker - The Godfather of Heathcote Shiraz



Where is the Heathcote Wine region?

North of Melbourne and east of Bendigo lies the Heathcote wine region. It is bound by the Rochester township to the north, the Tooborac community towards the south, Lake Eppalock to the west and Graytown to the east. With such a diversified terroir, wines of Heathcote are varied. As a whole however, the Heathcote Winegrowers Association have described their wines as,

“Voluptuous and well balanced, acid and tannin meld together in a way that does not dominate the fruit, but gives the wine great cellaring ability.”

Of all the wines produced from Heathcote, shiraz which is characterized by a distinctive, deep and complex fruit flavour, is considered royalty. The archaic,cambrian red sodic clay soil is rich in minerals and boasts excellent water retention. Vineyards lie in specific areas along both sides of Mount Camel’s hills where cool prevailing winds and geographical elevation influences the terroir and hence, the expression of the grape.

What is the Heathcote Wine region best known for?

Heathcote is synonymous for its shiraz; many of which are recognised nationally and internationally. This however, was not always the case. The first vineyards were planted by Henning Rathjen at Colbinabbin in the 1850’s, but Heathcote’s renaissance did not begin until much later.

Initially the Phylloxera vine louse, which destroyed the roots of vines, had spread across Heathcote due to poor hygiene practices. Only the Segafredo vineyard in Graytown, which was established in 1891, remained. It is this resilient clone that provided cuttings and grapes to winemakers, such as Paul Osicka making it the ancestor of Australia’s Heathcote shiraz.

Currently, many of the 40 wineries and 70 vineyards in Heathcote are family-owned and operated. Some employ or are operated by second or third generation winemakers. They tend to a shiraz that is distinct and carries a unique identity compared to shiraz produced elsewhere. Heathcote’s shiraz is known for its natural acidity, texture and rich colour.

Grown under the Heathcote Mediterranean climate, Palmarium’s Exemplar Heathcote Shiraz is rich, complex and layered, with ripe blackberry and currant followed by cedar, spice, licorice and a hint of earth. This contrasts with shiraz grapes grown in cooler climates which are more subdued as a result of a thinner skin and fewer tannins.

And should you pay a visit to Heathcote, you will be immersed in a cultural revolution driven by a community proud of its wine heritage. As a visitor, your day might begin with a well-balanced shiraz, a luncheon of gourmet dining served with home-style hospitality. Then as you walk across High Street, you’ll be greeted by the scent of local produce offered by the Wine Hub and pass by heritage inspired gifts from Rutherford & Maine. And on the first Saturday of each month, the Bush Market is held, offering local produce, jewelry etc. In early October, the town comes to life as the festivities begin at the annual Heathcote Wine & Food Festival. Over four thousand guests make the pilgrimage to celebrate one of Victoria’s iconic wine events.

Heathcote is enshrouded in a rich Australian heritage which is often overshadowed by its association with shiraz. From being a transit point for expedition pioneers, to having its own gold rush story to being involved with Australia’s aviation and railway history, Heathcote is a unique Australian town. And if you’re bright eyed and bushy tailed, walks along the O’Keefe Rail Trail, Devil’s Cave and Pink Cliffs will give you a glimpse of Heathcote beyond the wine country, just as Lake Eppalock will give you a great place for fishing, an afternoon picnic or a warm swim. Needless to say, should you visit Heathcote, you’ll find more than just shiraz but a town with a strong and proud heritage.

What is the climate at Heathcote Wine Region like?

Heathcote has a Mediterranean climate. Winters are cool and wet while summers are warm and dry. Summers are mild and shiraz in Heathcote benefit from a long growing season. The slow but steadfast ripening of grapes promotes ideal phenolic development that is iconic of the highest quality wines.

Heathcote’s vastness means climate geology and topography will vary significantly. The best comparison can be made between, Rochester, (to the north) which is drier than Tooborac (to the South) which can receive as much as 10mm less rain per month during the growing season (between April to October). This said, seasonal rainfall is evenly distributed across the year.

Heathcote is considered a temperate region however, there are variations in temperature across south and north. Southern vineyards also have a tendency to be cooler by around 1.5 degrees Celsius because of cooling winds. This can extend the growing season. As an example, the temperature difference in Tooborac during the veraison period can influence picking dates by as long as a fortnight compared to vineyards in Rochester. For the discerning connoisseur, the difference between production in Rochester compared to Tooborac can result in a range of different flavours.

What makes the Palmarium’s Exemplar Heathcote Shiraz 2010 vintage the best?

Good vintages are wines with a seductive spicy berry aroma, hints of chocolate and mint, with a firm texture. This is influenced by the terroir: the fruit’s expression from the soil, influenced by the Mediterranean climate and cool temperatures. For the Heathcote wine region, the fruit, climate and terroir are only matched by winemaking techniques which seek to capture the essence of ripe fruit with a round, full tannin profile.

In 2010, the terrior, produced one of the most outstanding vintages of the decade. This was in part due to the climate and volatile seasonal extremes.  After an extreme drought and prolonged heat from the 2009 vintage, shiraz parcelswere more aromatic and richer in tannin. But it was the downpour during the winter that ignited the next growing season. Soils retained moisture and the buildup of salts leached away due to winter rainfalls. While spring was warm, rainfall meant there was a scaffold to support the vinesfor the season. As water reserves fell, only selected vines were destined for the veraison process. Excess crop was thinned and water reserves were retained for vines with the most promise. This lead up resulted in select vines that retained excellent canopy until late in ripening, allowing the shiraz to ripen to full maturity.

The Exemplar Heathcote Shiraz 2010 is the masterpiece of this tumultuous season. Gold Medal winner of the China Wine Awards in 2012, we are proud of this vintage and believe it is one of the best Heathcote shiraz produced in the last decade. But rather than describing the aroma, the texture and the palate, we leave it to our professional peers and valued customers to share their insights with you. Huon Hooke, a respected Australian wine reviewer for Fairfax Media reviewed the vintage saying,

“Remarkably deep, dark, dense red/purple/black colour, which stains the glass. Incredibly oaky to sniff. All vanilla and chocolate. A big, powerful, rich wine which avoids being over-the-top or alcohol heavy. The tannins are assertive, in a fine-grained but very powdery style. Very dense, tightly packed and needs time to resolve and unfold. Impressive.”

Similarly, celebrated writer, winemaker and critic, James Halliday AM described the 2010 Vintage as a,

“Full, deep purple-crimson; combines power and intensity with elegance and balance; the fragrant bouquet is the opening chorus for the symphony of spice, licorice, black cherry and blackberry of the palate, where quality oak and ripe but firm tannins the final act.”

Meanwhile, one of our valued customers, Mary who brought a bottle of Exemplar Heathcote Shiraz to a dinner party, ignited immediate interest.

“I bought a dozen bottles the following day, half of which went straight to the cellar! We open this beauty on special occasions and it’s become a family favourite.”

There is little we can add to demonstrate how well received the Exemplar Heathcote Shiraz has been. However, we are confident that you will be impressed when you purchase Palmarium’s Exemplar Heathcote Shiraz. Decide for yourself whether this is Heathcote’s best shiraz, or even the best Australian shiraz.

Who is the Winemaker?

We commissioned John Ellis, widely considered the”Godfather of Heathcote Shiraz,” to oversee the production of Palmarium Exemplar Heathcote Shiraz from the smallest vineyard in Heathcote. Since the 1980s, he has produced wine near Mount Macedon in Victoria. And commuting over the course of the next three decades between Echuca and the Macedon Ranges,has become an expert in what is now referred to as the Heathcote Wine Region.

Since releasing his first vintage in 1987 to overnight success, wines he has overseen or produced have received award after award. Furthermore, independent panels that have sampled his wine have drawn comparisons to Penfolds Grange Hermitage. With over 40 years of experience in winemaking, John Ellis has been honoured with the Distinguished Service Award by the Victorian Wine Industry Association and the “Most Outstanding Contribution by an Individual” in 2007 by Tourism Victoria. John is therefore the ideal winemaker to oversee our Palmarium Exemplar Heathcote Shiraz.

What food would pair well with this wine and why?

We believe you can enjoy this wine with or without food. For some, wine isn’t all about flavours and aromas. Wines should be enjoyed with loved ones.Wines should be an experience and can be complemented with a great meal.

A rich, textured wine like our Heathcote shiraz complements foods such as roast beef served rare. Slow cooked beef or lamb stews. For the more adventurous try kangaroo or venison. These meats complement perfectly with our shiraz. If meat isn’t on the menu try a sharp cheddar or a soft blue.

Wine is subjective so if you want to drink shiraz with fish or chicken……..go right ahead!

How can I buy the wine?

You can purchase our Heathcote shiraz by clicking the link below or navigating your way at the top of our website. Just hit the Heathcote tab and you will be taken to the product page where you can purchase.


A large market for our wines is corporate gifting. For bulk order enquiries please fill in your details via the ‘Bulk Order Inquiry’ tab at the top of our website or give us a call to discuss further. We welcome any opportunities to market our wines to corporates. If you’d like us to come into your office and present our wines to you and your colleagues we’re more than happy to come in for a tasting.

An example of this was PWC partners ordering in bulk for their clients Christmas gifts. They sent us their clients postal address with a personalized Christmas card. These wines are always well received. We do offer a special corporate rate.

Palmarium chooses to use Sendle as our carrier. Sendle is a registered B Corp and Australia’s first carbon neutral service partnering with South Pole Group.

Once your order is placed, we pick and pack and notify Sendle that your order is ready to be picked up. Generally, same-city deliveries are overnight. Other cities around 2-3 days. Please note that if weather temperatures are extreme we will not send out your order on that day. You will be notified if this is the case.

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