Dalwhinnie vineyard is situated in a unique amphitheatre that has its own meso climate. Surrounded and sheltered by the highest range – at 595 metres above sea level - this unique bowl of vines is a world unto itself, located in a naturally undulating trough which falls away from the hills.
The main grape varieties grown are Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. These small individual vineyards average around 1.8 hectares in size and because of the hungry sedimentary soils cropping levels are low, only 1.5 tonnes per 0.8 of a hectare. There are 16 hectares farmed at Dalwhinnie at present.
The vineyard is situated on the 37th parallel in the southern hemisphere and the poor and fragile soils from left over alluvial mining areas in the 1850's are some of the hardest and hungriest you will ever see. However, the climate and soils seem well suited to the production of complex shiraz and this is why we specialise in this great variety.
The site is totally frost-free which enables the grapes to reach optimum ripeness and the vineyard is non-irrigated and operated on strong organic viticultural principles; the fruit is hand-picked, for example, and the vines are cane-pruned by hand. Harvest usually starts the third week in February and is completed around the first week in April. Cover crops are sown every year between the vineyard rows to add nitrogen to the soil. The average annual rainfall is 550mm with most rain falling between July and November.
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