HOW WE GROW OUR VINES

The vineyard of 18ha 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  now have full Biodynamic certification and are very determined to achieve our goals of sustainable farming. The whole property 400 ha is now converted to fully organic management, so you can look forward to organically grown beef ,lamb ,grains and maybe some veg in the future  . This is not a huge change for us ,as we have been committed to sustainability, but we are now convinced we need to go the extra yards to 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.Our challenge this year is to a large compost heap.

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 and weeds that have appeared

Preparing  the bio dynamics for spraying

Irrigation is supplied by catchment water (none of that in recent years)and bore water and is used sparingly through dripper lines ,there is 40 km of it tied to a wire about 25 cm above the ground surface under the vines. 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.By controlling our water input 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, there are 30,000 vines to prune!!

Harvest takes place normally between February and April, Chardonnay is usually the first to be picked finishing with Cab Sav or Semillon if we are making late harvest styles.We hand pick all grapes to be used for Wallington wines.

The Grapes

Cabernet Sauvignon was planted in1992 ,

Chardonnay ’94 ,

Shiraz ’95 ,

Cabernet Franc and Semillon in ’98

Grenache, Petit Verdot, Mouverdre, Tempranillo and Viognier in 2000.

These most recent plantings are used significantly for blending.