The Vineyard


The vineyard was established in 1997 with 5 short rows planted in a 2 x 2 metre spacing. These vines where trained up to a cordon wire 2.0 metre high to provide a nice shady canopy under which we can plant ourselves on a chair and enjoy the view from a shady spot. By 1999 we had expanded plantings to 2 Ha. The first few years were difficult as water for irrigation was in short supply and weed control required a great deal of manual digging out and vine-row mulching. I manage our vineyard with safe organic horticultural practices using minimal sprays of wettable sulfur and copper hydroxide. Fortunately the weather here does not cause a serious mildew problem and with regular monitoring of the vineyard we can apply our sprays sparingly.

To control weeds we have cultivated the vine inter-rows and sown a mixture of plants including rye-corn, oats, green feast peas, strawberry clover and ‘Blockout’ (a mixture of fesque and rye grasses). When slashed down in late spring to early summer the rye corn provides plentiful mulch on the vine row which reduces soil moisture loss and encourages worms and microbial growth in the soil. The fesque and rye grass was introduced early on and provides a permanent cover throughout the year and only requires mowing occasionally.


The first 5 rows adjacent to the driveway were planted to Merlot (which never really performed as well as expected). Over the years the little amount of fruit that we did harvest had been blended into the Black Label Shiraz. The 2015 crop however was very good and the wine made was blended with some Shiraz to make the first Blue Label Pallah. In 2018 another nice crop albeit small, this was blended with Shiraz and became the second Blue Label Pallah 2018. In 2019 the Merlot were pulled out and replanted with Riesling. Currently September 2023 these are about to budbust and all going well we should expect to harvest a tiny amount in 2024.