HILL BLOCK VINEYARD
SHIRAZ – 12 ACRES
Fruit from the ridge of the Hill Block vineyard forms the backbone of our flagship Greenock Shiraz. Vines grown at the base of the hill produce fruit with soft tannins and upfront plum, raspberry and cherry flavours – perfect for our popular Jack’s Shiraz.
Hill Block is located north of the Greenock township and lies within the Greenock district. The Hill Block was purchased in 1995 by Ian and Carol Kalleske and was planted to vines by Ian and Nathan Kalleske in 1998. The vineyard altitude is 290 to 305 metres above sea level.
The majority of the vineyard is planted on a layer of sandy red-brown earth with ironstone fragments over friable red clay. This clay layer is the smallest of our Greenock vineyards at about 2 feet. Below this the clay mixes with limestone and eventually disperses through layers of blue stone. The combination of friable clay and slopes of the hill allow for good root dispersion and drainage. The roots extend deep into the blue stone layer, searching for moisture when the upper layers becomes dry. From an analytical point of view this soil has a perfect balance of cations and trace elements with good soil biodiversity. Soil balance is an important factor in growing high-quality grapes.
The vineyard was planted with 3.6m row spacing and 2.28m vine spacing. This calculates to 1218 vines per hectare or 493 vines per acre. It was planted this way because of the low rainfall in a warm climate. Higher rainfall areas can accommodate up to 7,000 vines per hectare. It was planted with two different Shiraz clones: clone 1654 and clone 2. Two pruning methods are used – 70 per cent of the vineyard is pruned with the traditional “rod and spur” with the remaining 30 per cent “spur” pruned. Two new fruiting canes are tied on to the wire each year in the “rod and spur” patch with an ideal 25 buds per vine. The “spur” patch has a fruiting cane that becomes permanent on the wire. This then becomes part of the cordon and spurs are pruned from the cordon each year. A catch wire is used to hold the canopy up and allow for a good mix of light, shade and air flow. The “rod and spur” patch produces grapes with more colour and tannin than the “spur” patch due to more sun exposure.
This vineyard is picked in two sections: ridge top and the base of the hill. The ridge top is an important part which forms the back bone of our Greenock Shiraz; the resulting wine has immense colour, concentration and firm tannins. The primary fruit aromas distinctive to this vineyard include; plum, blackberry, dark cherry, spice, pepper, perfume, menthol, eucalyptus and liquorice. Mature fruit characters include leather, earthy, prunes and cigar box. The base of the hill is perfect for Jack’s Shiraz; the tannins are softer and produce fruit forward wines with Satsuma plum, cherry and raspberry shining through.