HOW WE GROW OUR VINES
The vineyard of 10 hectares is planted on brown loam & red clay soils in an area that enjoys a long growing season, with low incidence of disease and usually a dry autumn for harvest. The vines are planted on a 3mx2m grid running north/ south and trained to a vertical shoot position trellis
The vineyard is now managed organically as is the olive grove. We are proud to have full Biodynamic certification and are very determined to achieve our goals of sustainable farming. The whole property 400 hectares is now converted to fully organic management, so you can look forward to organically grown beef, lamb, grains, fruit and veg straight from our very own backyard. This is not a huge change for us, as we have been committed to land sustainability. We do strongly believe that every effort and intention made towards going the extra yards in regards to sustainable land management is what will really make a difference.
Over the years we have used many organic preparations to help balance and provide the nutrient requirements of the vines, from straw mulches to worm castings.
We have Dorper sheep, which are a breed which is great for producing prime lamb for eating, and also shed their wool so do not need shearing. They help us fertilise the vineyard in the winter and also eat down any weeds that have appeared.
Irrigation is supplied by catchment water and bore water and is used sparingly through dripper lines. There is 25 km of water lines tied to a wire about 25 cm above the ground surface under the vines used only during the hottest months (as water can be a sparse commodity depending on the year). Soil moisture is monitored carefully using gypsum blocks to ensure appropriate use of irrigation water. Years of drought have taught us some valuable lessons in the judicious use of precious water. However, by learning to control our water output, we can produce bunches of small intensely flavoured grapes.
Pruning is the big job for winter and usually takes 3 of us 3 months to complete this by hand (FYI there are 20,000 vines to prune!!)
Harvest takes place normally between February and April. Chardonnay is usually the first to be picked finishing with Cab Sav or early pickings too as they tend to ripen the quickest with our hot dry summer weather. We hand pick all grapes to be used for Wallington wines, as we prefer to take the time and save our fruit from any bruising or blemish due to machine harvest. Call us purest, but we consider fine wine making something of art, and not to be rushed.
THE GRAPE VARIETY & YEAR OF PLANTATION
- Cabernet Sauvignon was planted in ’92,
- Chardonnay ’94,
- Shiraz ’95,
- Cabernet Franc in ’98,
- Grenache, Petit Verdot, Mouverdre, Tempranillo and Viognier in 2000 – These most recent plantings are used significantly for blending.