Our vineyards are the essence of our wine and the love of what we do, and biodynamics is the path along which we allow their character to shine. Respect for the life force of the vines and their natural condition lends itself to capturing fruit with vitality and integrity resulting in wines that reflect their origins from Ngeringa.
We have 3 predominant vineyard terroir, all within a few kilometers of each other and on the immediate foothills of the Mount Barker summit. Two are in Mount Barker Springs to the west of the peak of the summit and one is near the township of Nairne, to the north of the summit. Laid out with narrow rows of 1.5m and close 1m inter-row plantings, we care for the vines by hand and with specialised narrow equipment.
The Summit Vineyard
Select clones of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are planted on the cooler easterly facing slopes in Mt Barker Springs along with a few clones of Syrah and Viognier. This vineyard, at an altitude of 360m, overlooks in the distance Lake Alexandrina and the mouth of the mighty Murray River. As a result, it reliably receives cooling air currents each evening. The soil is a light sandy loam over clay with areas of red ironstone.
The Rufus Vineyard
A small planting of Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Syrah & Aglianico is positioned on the westerly slopes of our Mt Barker Springs property. Distinctly different to our other vineyards due to it’s aspect, open exposure and tough, lean ironstone soil, this vineyard challenges the vines to produce distinctly concentrated fruit in minimal quantities.
Seemingly regardless of day time temperatures, Ngeringa receives cool (or shall we say cold) evening sea winds as if on cue blown in from the southern sea over the Murray Mouth. A wonderful natural aid for the acid and flavour development/retention in the fruit.
The Iluma Vineyard
The majority of our Syrah and Viognier is planted facing west on a lean, textured soil of micaceous schist and ironstone over clay on the Nairne terroir. This is a vineyard that really excites us. At an altitude of 420m, on the northern slope of the Mount Barker summit and with the sparkle of mica throughout the soil, this is where our most inspiring fruit comes from.
ON THE FARM
Believing in the need to establish a natural balance in the monoculture environment of a vineyard means seeing more than just a vine in the vineyard. Consequently, we have many 2 and 4 legged creatures prowling the vineyard at different times of the year; guinea fowl and chooks during spring and summer to keep control of any insect imbalance, sheep in winter as natural lawn mowers and recyclers of nutrients and then of course we can only be delighted to encourage healthy wildlife populations of insects, spiders and birds (pre-veraison that is) of which there are always plenty.
The cows are too clumsy to move through the vineyard rows but are essential to our need for nutritious cow manure used in the enormous compost piles we create each year and for our biodynamic brews and preparations. We therefore also make our own hay to sustain the cows throughout summer but also for use in our compost.
We are an integrated farm therefore. With our aim to make the wine we love we find ourselves doing so much more!