The Heathcote Vineyard

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Heathcote wine growing region

The 4 acre vineyard is located near the small town of Tooborac which is at the southern end of the Heathcote wine growing region.

The site is on the western slope of a hill formed through the uplift of the Heathcote fault. This geological feature has exposed ancient Ordovician period rock that has weathered to form an iron rich red soil with interspersed quartz gravel.
The roots of the grape vines can penetrate this gravelly, light clay to a depth of 2 metres and it has good water holding capacity.

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THE VINES

The vines have been planted at intervals of 1.5 metres in rows 3.0 metres apart. The rows have a North/South orientation that coincidentally follow the contours of the hill.

PRUNING PROCESS

Cane pruning has been adopted using bi-lateral cordons and vertical shoot positioning. A natural approach has been adopted to management of the vineyard including minimal spraying and maintaining native grasses in the mid rows. These mid rows are controlled by the grazing of Dorper Sheep. This keeps the grasses in check and provides a natural source of fertilizer.

THE FINAL STAGES

During the final ripening of the grapes (véraison) the vines are covered with netting to protect the crop from birds.