“i view myself as a custodian of Passing Clouds’ wine knowledge, a vigneron striving to grow grapes of the highest quality from our unique sites and a winemaker obsessed with producing wines of elegance and expression from each individual season.”
- cameron leith
Like all traditional cultures; stories being passed down from generation to generation are imperative. The wine culture thrives on this and it is with great pride that Cameron Leith has been part of the winemaking at Passing Clouds since the time he could walk. He has followed in his Father’s footsteps, to uphold the specific style of Passing Clouds that became available to the public in 1980.
Graeme Leith is one of those rugged individuals who were prepared to put everything on the line for a gamble: to grow grapes, to make the best wine they could, and then sell it in sufficient quantities to make a living. He’d first expressed some interest in the process of fermentation at the age of seven or eight which saw him sent home from Sunday school.
Passing Clouds was the name co-founders Graeme Leith and Sue Mackinnon gave to their small family owned winery when in 1974 having tirelessly hand planted their central Victorian Bendigo vineyard, were hoping for rain. Rain clouds would come, threaten and pass, and on old gold diggings and a deserted creek bed, they planted Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.
Now under the watch of Cameron Leith there is a focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from their new home in the Macedon Ranges which when coupled with their ongoing traditional Passing Clouds offerings from Bendigo compounds to form a formidable stable of wines.
If we do the job right, the winemaking side of things is a matter of gently guiding the fruit from vine to bottle, as we are very much of the ilk of letting the hand of god (mother nature) rather than the hand of man (winemaker) do the talking. We always have the aim of creating wines that speak of the vineyards, the seasons and our particular style.
Passing Clouds is fortunate to operate in both the Macedon Ranges and Bendigo. Our Estate vineyard is in Macedon and is the source of our premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay but we also work with four other growers , 3 in Bendigo and one in Port Philip, just outside the township of Kilmore.
The story begins in 1973 when Graeme Leith and Sue Mackinnon, great friends and partners, decided that they wanted even more challenges in life than were possible for them in their careers as an electrical contractor and a journalist. They wanted to brave the elements, face the challenges of the land, and like so many before them pursue the holy grail of ‘the best wine in the world’.