Our Vineyards

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.

“We are not just about growing grapes, we are also about sustainability”

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.

Our Family Business

Our philosophy is to make elegant and premium quality wines from the best wine region in Australia applying sustainable practices to both our approach to viticulture and winemaking. To achieve this, and after spending 2 years investigating, we found the prefect region for growing premium quality grapes in the Adelaide Hills. The Adelaide Hills is regarded as one of Australia’s premium cool climate wine regions and is renowned for its Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir wines and is gaining a reputation for elegant Shiraz and Cabernet/Merlot blends.

Our first investment in The Adelaide Hills was 1999 with the development of the Woodlands Ridge Vineyard in Gumeracha providing the backbone for the launch of our first wines. With growth our business started to expand resulting in the acquisition of the Tunnel Hill Vineyard in 2008 located in Forreston, still in the Adelaide Hills, and in 2011 the acquisition of the old Nepenthe Winery with Peter Leske and his family (now called Revenir) returning Peter to where he first established his reputation as one of Australia’s leading winemakers.

Our tradition of growing grapes didn’t start in Australia rather it started in another continent. The Kozned family has a long tradition of growing grapes and making wines. Before immigrating to Australia after World war Two our family grew grapes in the Caucasus grape growing region in Southern Russia which is renowned for producing quality wines. We were landholders and amongst our many agricultural pursuits was the established a large vineyard which produced premium quality Shiraz red grapes where we would harvest the grapes and produce premium wine that was sold throughout Russia as well as used by the Russian Orthodox church.

The love of growing grapes and making wines has been passed onto Mark Kozned with him following his family tradition into the wine industry. The Firebird, Mad Russian and George Kozned range of wines all honour the close relationship maintained tradition and the influence our family has had on the development of the business.