EAST BLOCK VINEYARD
SHIRAZ – 15 ACRES
East Block is our youngest vineyard – but the quality of its best fruit is truly exceptional. Our super-premium Limited Two Shiraz featured fruit from East Block in 2004 and 2008, while our flagship Greenock Shiraz consistently takes fruit from this extremely low-yielding vineyard.
East Block is located north east of the Greenock township and is at the outer edge of the Greenock district. For 144 years, this block was used by the Kalleske family for sheep grazing and grain crops. The vineyard altitude is 325 to 340 metres above sea level. The area from Ebenezer, Moppa, Greenock and Marananga through to Seppeltsfield is one of best locations in the Barossa – and the world – for growing premium Shiraz grapes.
There are two distinct soil types in this vineyard. Most of the soil contains the greatest deposits of iron stone fragments of all our Greenock vineyards. The earth is red-brown, which quickly changes into friable dark red clay, suggesting the existence of much oxidised soil that is probably millions of years old. The red clay in this vineyard is the deepest of all our Greenock blocks, extended down to six feet and beyond. The clay mixes with limestone throughout the soil profile. The red-brown soil is highly aerobic with good biodiversity. The sub clay is oxygenated, with good moisture and mineral-holding capacity.
This vineyard is planted to an east-west direction with 493 vines per acre. The east-west row orientation allows for better protection of the fruit during extremely hot summer days. The vineyard is always shoot-thinned and a catch wire is used to hold the canopy up to allow for good mix of light, shade and airflow. Three clones were used in this vineyard and planted all on own roots: Kalleske Old Vine clone, clone 2 and 1654. All three clones on this vineyard produce very small dark berries and extremely low yields averaging 1.5 tonnes per acre.
Most of the vineyard is pruned with the “spur” method while just a small patch of three acres is pruned with the traditional “rod and spur” method. The slope of the hill enables excessive moisture to drain away and a cover crop is sown each year in early May to help control potential excess vine vigour in wetter years. The cover crop is mowed in either early spring or late spring and the mulch left on the soil helps in summer to reduce the soil temperature. This is one of our youngest vineyards, planted in 1999 by Ian, Nathan, Shawn and Damon Kalleske.
The best fruit from the spur pruned section of East Block consistently makes the Greenock Shiraz, showing good concentration, balance and fine grainy tannins. The fruit spectrum includes blueberry, blackberry, black cherry, dark plum, dark chocolate, spices, pepper, perfume, violets, tobacco, and liquorice. The higher elevation of this vineyard through the Greenock Ranges brings cooler conditions to the grapes at night, resulting in lifted aromatics, refinement and a structure that builds long-lived wines.
In chosen vintages, two barrels are selected from a blind tasting of all Greenock barrels for the highly sought after Limited Two Shiraz. Wine made from the grapes grown for both 2004 and 2008 Limited Two Shiraz turned out to be from the small patch of “rod and spur” on the East Block.