Read more about our vines and philosophy
Our viticultural philosophies
Cabernet Sauvignon vines are grown on the vineyard at Coomealla to traditional French cropping levels of 2-3 tonnes per acre and are subjected to strong ‘deficit irrigation’ principles between veraison and harvesting. Our viticultural philosophies allow the manipulation of vine physiology, grape development and berry size. These attributes minimise the requirement for chemical application to produce sound fruit and all are vital in concentrating the naturally occurring aroma and flavour compounds associated with the magnificent Cabernet Sauvignon grape.
The vineyard is planted on a red sandy-clay-loam topsoil which is nutrient rich and allows for excess soil water drainage and promotes a favourable deep root system development enabling the vine to utilise nutrient and moisture from deep down in the soil matrix.
There is a calcium carbonate or limestone layer below the 1.5 to 2.5 metre deep topsoil which assists in maintaining the soil pH balance and below that is a heavier yellow to grey clay layer which plays an important role in retaining moisture and nutrient for the vine to access during the deficit irrigation strategy adopted.
The vines are planted on a slight hill with a southern aspect in 3m row spacing and 3m vine spacing providing a low density plantation while promoting desirable conditions for sunlight interception and sufficient air-flow through the canopy to reduce and discourage many pest and disease pressures.
The East-West row orientation further optimises the photosynthetic potential of the vine and increases rootzone activity as the arc of the summer sun follows the vine row throughout the day. The canopy captures the light that is essential for sugar accumulation, but protects the precious berries from sunburn as dappled light penetrates through the vine framework hitting the ground.
Light and heat energy that is absorbed by the red earth during the day then radiates back through the vineyard in the hours after sunset regulating the diurnal temperature fluctuation reducing stress and temperature shock on the vine.
Our white wines
Our white wines have come from family connections we have made over the years, believing that a family farmer has a much greater investment in their vineyard than many of the large scale commercial vineyards, where tonnage becomes the focal point for those vineyard managers.
In each vintage we have produced a white wine, we have sourced white grape varieties that if made well, will benefit from ageing and like a good red, gets better with age.
In 2012, we produced a Semillon from grapes sourced in the Adelaide Hills, from less common clones of Semillon Madiera and Semillon Red, the latter, producing a wine with a blushed skin colour and if left too long in the press, will turn out slightly pink.
We had made a decision to harvest the grapes quite early, to ensure we kept alcohol levels in check, had a good level of natural acidity in the juice, some nice crunch in the skins and still some grippy tannins in the seeds. The fruit in the vineyard tasted fresh and crisp with a kick of acid, some freshly cut grass aromas and a lemony zest on the palate. A perfect base for a wine that will still be looking strong in 10-20 years from harvest.
In 2016 we were able to source some Riesling from a family friend just north of the township of Clare. This fruit was looking divine and we were able to purchase a small amount so as John could begin to implement all those early learnings from his days at Mitchelton under Don Lewis.
The delicate free run from this fruit was kept as a separate parcel from the pressings and made into a table wine that had all the promise of a wine suitable to age. It was fresh and fruity with some floral lift that made the aroma keep you going back for more and a palate that had good acid length and intense citrus fruit.
The pressings were then partially fermented before being fortified, in what will one day be released as Gledhill’s first White fortified wine.
Our red wines
John will be adding extra information here about the red wines.