Terms and conditions.


Our vineyard in more detail…


We’re by no means soil experts but we know we farm on a pretty unique site here. Our soil is classified (according to our maps), as ‘Devonian era volcanic loam’ – which is 419 million years old. Loam is a mix of sand and clay – ours looks like ground coffee and is quite soft to walk on. The volcanic origin lends nutrient density and fertility.

There are two defining factors from a viticultural perspective: firstly, that it is free draining. This means our very high rainfall doesn’t drown the vines. But, the clay component in the soil means that it holds enough to supply our unirrigated vines with water. It’s a delicate and fortuitous balance.

Secondly, the top soil is estimated to be 20-30 meters deep. This is both positive (nutrient availability for shallow roots or young plants) and negative in that it tends to encourage enormous root systems which promotes ‘vigour’ above ground. This is challenging but just part of the site and how we work with it.


Whitlands is one of coldest grape growing regions in Australia and is probably also the wettest – our average rainfall is 55 inches / year, with 2020 seeing even high numbers. Rain increases mould & mildew risk, which is by far our biggest issue in terms of management approach.

We’ve definitely seen and felt the effects of climate change over the last 5-8 years – it is probably a little warmer through the growing season but we’ve also seen an increase in hail & frost in Spring – both of which are capable of destroying our crop within minutes. Not ideal, but like most in agriculture, we’re doing what we can to mitigate and adapt.

And in terms of elevation, roughly speaking, for every 100m gain in altitude, a degree of temperature is lost. We’re about 500m higher than the King Valley below us and so even for somewhere so close, we’re typically 5-7 degrees cooler…this is the reason why the grape varieties planted in the King Valley are not suitable for Whitlands, and vice versa.


The original 1998 planting spanned 20 acres of chardonnay (I10V1), pinot noir (MV6, 115 & 114), pinot meunier. This section was planted on rootstocks on wide spacing. Five years later another 20 acres was added (alos on rootstocks) on closer spacing and included pinot gris in addition to more chardonnay and a trial of pinot blanc. From 2021 we are undergoing a restructuring plan which includes some replanting and significant vine removal due to ongoing issues with trunk disease. As of 2022 the total area is 29 areas.