Adelaide Hills Wines.
Grapes were 1st planted in The Adelaide Hills in 1890’s but it was not until the late 1970’s that the expansion of the wine region occurred. The Adelaide Hills has built up a reputation of as one of the best cool climate region producing wines with elegance, finesse and a distinctive style. The region is over 70 kilometres long and 30 kilometres wide with an elevation starting at 370 metres to over 700 metres at its highest.
It is bordered to the North by the Barossa Valley and to the South by the McLaren Vale wine regions. One of the key attributes of the Adelaide Hills wine region is the significantly cooler average day and night time temperatures during the growing season. On average they are more than 5°C cooler during the day and 10°C at night. Extended ripening conditions quite often into Autumn, generally a dry summer and the cooler average temperature all combine to produce the perfect conditions to growing premium quality grapes.
We are not just about growing grapes but we are also about sustainability. By this we apply best practice environmentally sustainable principles and management techniques. We keep chemicals to a minimum and try and encourage the use of naturally occurring biological systems in the vineyard to control pests and diseases. To facilitate this we are selectively applying Biodynamic practices and principles on targeted vineyard blocks to investigate its suitability as a practice on our vineyards.
We are also working with to preserve or replace natural vegetation on our vineyards. Recently we have work with the South Australian Natural Resource Management Board and in 2013 we replanted over 7 hectares of 20% of our Woodlands Ridge Vineyard to its original native state.
Woodlands Ridge Vineyard
Our Woodlands Ridge Vineyard is planted on land that is over 450 metres above sea level, has gentle slopes, plenty of water and moderately fertile soils. The soil on the property is derived from some of the oldest basement rocks known to man developed during the Proterozoic period. Over millions of years, weathering of basement rock has produced a sandy loam top soil with a moderately fertile light orange clay subsoil producing vines with relatively low vigour.
Varieties grown on the vineyard include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Shiraz. The Woodlands Ridge Vineyard supplies Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Shiraz to the Firebird range and Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay to the Mad Russian range. For the white wines yields are kept to between 7 and 10 tonnes per hectare or 3 to 4 tonnes to the acre and less than 7 tonnes per hectare for the Shiraz.
Tunnel Hill Vineyard
To meet the strong growth in our brands we decided to expand our vineyard operations through the acquisition of the Tunnel Hill Vineyard. The Tunnel Hill Vineyard was established by John and Julie Ridge in 1996 on land that was originally used as a fruit orchard in the 1850s.
The 17 hectare vineyard provides us with a good mix of mature red varieties such as Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese. It is located in Forreston approximately 6 kilometres north of the Woodlands Ridge Vineyard and is established on steep rocky slopes, but importantly it still has moderately fertile soils – great for red wine production. A large ridge of weathered rock can be seen from land that adjoins the property highlighting the source of the soils for the vineyard. The top soil is a light orange clay loam which overlays a low fertile heavier brown clay loam sub soil. As the site is a little further north the days tend to be warmer but the nights remain cool because of the steep slopes and elevation of between 420 to 450 metres above sea level.
The Tunnel Hill Vineyard is the primary source of our Shiraz, Cabernet and Merlot for the Mad Russian range and is a key contributor for the Mad Russian Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Yields for the red wines are a maximum of 7 tonnes per hectare and 10 tonnes per hectare for the white wines.
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