MOPPA HILL VINEYARD
BLOCK 6 – SHIRAZ – 6 ACRES
The medium-bodied wines produced from this vineyard express a genuine purity of fruit, with distinctive aromas of cherry, plum, elderberry, raspberry and violets.
Moppa Hill is located in the Moppa district, a small sub-region on the north-western side of the Barossa Valley. Block 6 is situated below Block 4 and located lower on the eastern slope between 353m to 365m above sea level. This was the original site of a Shiraz vineyard planted in 1912, which was devastatingly pulled out in the mid-1980s during the “vine pull era”. The government paid grape growers to pull their vines out because of the oversupply of red grapes. Block 6 was re-planted in 2001 by Ian, Nathan, Shawn and Damon Kalleske.
The majority of Block 6 is planted on light sandy soil over orange-red clay loam, along with fragments of ironstone and sandstone. The light sandy soil varies in depth but becomes deeper closer to the bottom of the slope, ranging up to three feet deep. The sandy soil has excellent root growth conditions but low to moderate water holding capacity. The sandy soil allows for good drainage into the deeper clay layer which has good moisture holding capacity.
The six-acre vineyard is planted with 526 vines per acre, solely to clone 1654 on own roots which is preferred over rootstock. The entire vineyard is pruned with the “spur” (cordon) method and careful attention is paid to leave the desired amount of bud numbers. There is always a summer prune to take out any unwanted shoots and a close eye is kept on bunch positions. Any close-together bunches are removed and any inconsistent bunches at veraison removed also.
The vineyard is trellised in a north-south direction and a catch wire is used to help hold the canopy up to allow for a good mix of sun, shade and airflow. The vineyard soil is never cultivated but left with permanent grasses which are kept under control by sheep grazing between the rows during the winter months and mowing during the summer months.
This vineyard with its sandy soils and sandy clay loam produces medium bodied wines that are fruit driven with silky textures and supple tannins. Block 6 is planted just 10 metres below Block 4 but there are notable differences between the two vineyards. Block 6 has a genuine purity of fruit with floral scents and distinctive aromas, including cherry, plum, elderberry, raspberry, spice, pepper and violets.