Nintingbool is a family-owned and operated winery and vineyard located at Smythes Creek, just west of Ballarat. Smythes Creek was named after Captain John James Barlow Smythe, who had lease of the Nintingbool run in 1846. Originally known as ‘Nentingbull’, the name is derived from the indigenous word ‘Nunkunbool’ which means ‘morning star’.
Nintingbool benefits from a cool climate with a long ripening period, to produce premium quality grapes and fine complex wines. The 2 ha vineyard, planted with pinot noir was established in 1998. The vines are planted on northern slopes in harsh goldfield soil, at an elevation of 425m. The rows are planted 2.8 metres apart, with 1.4 metres between each vine using vertical shoot positioning. This provides plenty of air circulation for disease prevention and allows maximum sunlight to assist ripening. In late summer we enclose the entire vineyard with bird netting to prevent any fruit damage.
In 2004, we decided to expand our interest in viticulture and began our own wine production. Our first vintage produced only 44 cases of cool climate pinot noir. This tiny vintage started a quest to produce quality wine which has never waned. In 2005, the second vintage, of only 70 cases, was reviewed by James Halliday to be one of the 20 best pinots in Australia, with a score of 95 points.
Since those beginnings Nintingbool has ‘expanded’ to produce a still tiny average of 350 cases of Pinot Noir, as well as tiny volumes of Shiraz, sourced from a small vineyard near Clunes, and estate grown Rose. In 2016 we also produced our first vintage of Chardonnay from locally sourced grapes.
Our vines are all hand pruned and picked - we ensure that our fruit is always handled with great care to maintain premium quality. Our wines are fermented in small vats to allow for a combination of whole bunches; wild yeast and a variety of carefully selected yeasts. Wines are matured in French oak barrels and coaxed through the winter with electric blankets to maintain a constant temperature in the very cool Ballarat climate.
1998 – first planting of Pinot Noir MV6
1999 – second planting of Pinot Noir MV6
Nintingbool has been our family property since 1982. In 1984 we built our home from old bluestones, gathered from around the local area and dating back to the goldrush period. Since then we have established an extensive Australian native garden and home orchard.
The property includes two large dams, which now supply water for the vineyard. Our children, Mark, Sarah and Rachael have helped us to develop the vineyard.