The importance of farming
It has always been our belief that the care for the land we farm is of up most importance. An understanding of how we can provide back to the land in a way that naturally compliments what we harvest from it. Appreciating that it may be that all that we need to nourish our vineyard is within our farm, whether that be by composting, mulching and or by the preparation of fertilising compost teas. The adoption of these principle has allowed that our land and the produce from it are kept sustainable.
- Heat Degree Days
- Yarra Valley 1352. Mornington Peninsula 1570.
- Growing Season
- Bud Burst September. Harvest March- April.
- Pruning Methods
- All vines are caned pruned.
- Farming Principles
- Those past down from those before.
The geology of the St Andrews Yarra Valley vineyard in comparison to our Mount Martha Mornington Peninsula vineyard are so diverse. St Andrews consists of very old sedimentary rock along with light-textured duplex soils whereas the soils of Mt Martha Vineyard are formed on granite parent material and consist of light grey gritty sandy loam, over mottled yellow brown and grey clay. These differences are evident in our wines.
Both the St Andrews and the Mornington Peninsula vineyards have what can be considered as cool climates with a slow ripening season allowing the development of the complex and elegant flavours we strive to achieve. The main difference between the two sites would be the influence of the sea breeze experienced in Mount Martha which can be beneficial to reduce vine stress in the warmer ripening months of summer.
The choices we have made in respect to the varieties we are growing hinge largely upon past family practices and a desire to continue the course with these varieties to see what the future will bring us. Not only are there numerous different “ clones’’ for a variety but the response of each to the land they are planted in is also so varying. We believe that this is one of the most influential factors in the creation of our wines and finding this balance is part of our journey.
This influence is described as Heat Degree Days and is calculated by taking the difference between 10˚C and the mean temperature of the growing months October to April then, multiplying that difference by the number of days in those months, and then adding together the resultant figures for each of the seven months. Our Mornington Peninsula vineyard has a HDD value of 1570 degrees whilst for Yarra Valley it is 1352 degrees.
One of the most important processors in the vineyard is that of pruning which is undertaken during the winter months when vines are dormant. We adopt what is known as the “Cane Prune” method whereby we choose a healthy dormant shoot from the previous growing season to keep as the Cane to bear fruit for the next vintage and the remainder of canes on the dormant vine are then pruned and discarded to be used as mulch within the vineyard rows.
The winery has been constructed at the St Andrews vineyard and can be described as being the other lung of our operation that works alongside our vines. Of late we have been experimenting with minimising the use of pumps within the wine making process, which has led to some interesting inventions to elevate all ferment tanks and barrels to allow for wines to be gravity fed as part of the wine making process in lieu of using pumps.