It’s tough growing grapes here…
Penkridge Farm produces pinot noir and pinot gris grapes on a 4 ha block, with another 14 ha of bare land to develop. The vines were planted in 3 blocks between 2001 and 2003. Massive frosts in 2003 killed many young vines that had to be replaced, a stark reminder of how challenging this climate can be.
In 2019, the Farm begins a vine replacement process as many of the original vines were not on resistant root stock, and have succumbed to the vine mite phylloxera. So the 2019/2020 season sees changes in the vineyard, new vines going into the ground, changes to irrigation, fertiliser practices, all aimed at reducing our impact and improving the soils to ultimately produce better fruit and better wines.
The recent introduction of sheep helps to control grasses and weeds around the vines and reduces the need for sprays. They also provide free fertiliser, improving soil quality and helping reduce human input and impact into our grape growing. This is another step into taking a more natural approach to how we manage the vineyard and the land.
Current pinot noir clones are Clone 5, 10/5, 115 and Abel with the grapes harvested by hand each year and made into some beautiful wines by local winemaker Antony Worch at Alexandra Vintners.
The focus now for the vineyard team is investigating areas of the land for new plantings along with new varieties to add to the wine portfolio. There is also the hope of bringing an onsite tasting facility to fruition. The next few years will certainly see exciting changes as the Farm is developed further.
“The release of our new label underscores our desire to reinvigorate what we do here. Developing a true understanding of soil and climate and doing the best we can in the vineyard, returning our focus to the land and our practices. We think this will be an exciting journey and hope people will share in it.”
& cool nights.
Warm dry days give way to cool nights, which allows concentrated flavours to slowly build, allowing wines to express the true terroir of this boutique vineyard. Shallow soils over deep gravel deposits allow the vines to run deep in search of water and nutrients, producing concentrated flavours in the grape.View The Wines