McLaren Vale has some of the most variable, ancient and weathered soils on the planet. 19 different soil types have been identified in one of the most detailed soil studies carried out in any wine region. It is for this reason we called this wine ‘Ancient Earth’. It is a single-vineyard Shiraz from the beautiful sweep of vines immediately to the south of our Cellar Door. We call this our ‘Cellar Block’.
Our other vineyards have different soil types but we selected this part of our vineyard to carry the Ancient Earth mantle as it makes the quintessential McLaren Vale style of Shiraz. So what’s special about the earth? The earth is known locally as ‘Biscay soil’. It is also referred to as ‘self-mulching black cracking clay’ and these soils have unique properties. Slow to wet, they can tightly hold a large volumes of water. Unfortunately the soil is not so generous in giving the vines access to this moisture so in heatwave conditions the vines can stress quite quickly. The fruit therefore needs to be watched and managed very carefully as it ripens. On the other hand, correctly managed, the resulting wine can be quite magnificent. Shiraz thrives here and can produce fruit with great fragrance and power, but a structure which guarantees ageing potential.