Our property is part of an old apricot orchard of which 30 trees still remain. In 2003 we planted 1200 vines on the north-west-faced terraced hillside and a further 860 vines on the lower side in 2006. We have also planted hundreds of tussocks to stabilize the bank and for weed control. This has become a talking point in the local community as some have wondered if we were tussocks farming. The soil type is stony loam and the vineyard is trickle irrigated.
We specalize in growing four clones of Pinot Noir – UCD 5 and Dijon 667, 777 and 115. We sourced our crafted rootstock from Misty Valley, Henderson, Auckland. Besides supplying strong healthy stock, they also send monthly Pratical Tip sheets which have proven invaluable.
Our vines are hand-tended from start to finish to ensure quality and so we can admire our wonderful view! We believe healthy soil leads to healthy plants so for the last three years we have been applying compost Teas. These are living inoculates of soil fungi, bacteria and feeder to improve nutrient uptake. They also increase worm population.
The only other sprays we use are sulphur, to guard against powdery mildew, and foliar feeds including kelp. Our main frost protection is our sloping site but we have found kelp gives an added few degrees protection. It also helps the vines retain their leaves longer in autumn, which is vital for carbohydrate storage for the next season.