Our 4ha vineyard lies approximately 80-100 metres above sea level on a frost free site, 5km inland from Bass Strait. With a strong maritime influence, our grapes enjoy a long even growing season, moderated by the prevailing north-westerly sea breezes.
The vineyard has two distinct volcanic based soil types: deep red ferrousol soils, and ironstone gravels with a layer of micaceous quartz siltstone 30-60cm below. Both soils contain large amounts of quartz and basalt, and hold moisture well which allows us to dry-grow our vines. The 4 distinct vineyard blocks face North-East and East which warms the soils early in the day and gives the vines full sun exposure to ensure optimal ripeness and flavour in our grapes. Our original terraced blocks of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were in 1994 at a planting density of 2.75m x 1m (3636 vines/ha).
In 2006 we removed 0.8ha of under-performing vines and began replanting new high quality, low yielding clones of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varieties. This block is planted at a high density of 1.3m x 1m (7700 vines/ha) with some sections planted at 1.3m x 0.75m (10250 vines/ha). We are aiming for a greater expression of our sight within these blocks with yields per vine kept significantly low (currently averaging less than 500 grams per vine).
The last block to be planted commenced in 2010, and is shaped like an amphitheatre, wrapping around the hill from North-East to East and has also been densely-planted with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. This sheltered block has an advantage of greater protection from the prevailing wind, giving us earlier ripeness and maturation. In addition we have planted smaller amounts of Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, and Gamay.
Most tasks carried out in our vineyard is performed by hand, from pruning in winter through to leaf plucking, trimming, and fruit thinning at bunch closure. This allows us to give every vine all the care and attention it needs to grow intense, complex flavoured grapes. A small (94cm wide) light weight, low hp tractor is used for spraying, to ensure minimal compaction of our soil. Once the grapes have reached physiological ripeness, each bunch is handpicked in the cool of the morning, and then transported to the winery for processing, a maximum 150m from the vines. Vintage usually occurs between late March and late April depending on the season.
Varieties planted in detail:
- Pinot Noir – 1.1ha. Clones MV6, 114, 115, 667, 777, Abel, D4V2, UCD5, 386, 521, G5V15, D2V5, D5V12, Cortaillod
- Chardonnay – 1.5ha. Clones 548, 76, 95, 96, 809, 277, Mendoza, Penfolds 58, I10V1, 352, 124
- Pinot Gris – 0.2ha. Clones 457, D1V7, D1V10
- Grüner Veltliner – 0.2ha. Clone F6V16
- Pinot Blanc – 0.1ha. Clone 54
- Gewurztraminer – 0.1ha. Clone 457
- Riesling – 0.5ha. Clones GM110, GM239, 810, 812, 813, 68 Trier, 356 Trier, 156, N90
- Gamay – 0.3ha. Clones 222, 284, BGW19, H200A