OLD VINE BLOCK – 3 ACRES
YOUNG BLOCK – 4 ACRES
With vines first planted in the 1960s, this vineyard produces early-ripening golden berries with intense flavours.
The old vine Semillon vineyard is located north of the Greenock Township and lies within the Greenock district. It was owned by Sir Condor Laucke and planted by his workmen in 1962, before being purchased by Ian and Carol Kalleske in 1995. It lies 290 metres above sea level. The Young block was planted in 1996 by Ian and Nathan Kalleske.
The Old Vine Block vineyard is planted on a layer of red-brown sandy loam over friable dark red clay. This clay layer is very deep and at a depth of four to five feet mixes with bluestone and continues well beyond this.
The old vineyard is planted with 3.66m row spacing and 2.44m vine spacing, which equates to 1118 vines per hectare or 453 vines per acre. It was planted this way because of the low rainfall in a warm climate. Higher rainfall areas can have up to 7,000 vines per hectare. The vineyard was planted with clone 143 – a shy-bearing clone that produces small compact bunches with golden berries and intense flavours.
The old vines are pruned with the traditional “rod and spur” method and a catch wire is used to help hold the canopy up to protect the grapes from the direct sun. A cover crop of triticale wheat is sown in early May between the vine rows and is worked into the soil in early spring. The cover crop suppresses unwanted weeds, increases organic matter and soil nutrients and creates better moisture retention.
The old block is the first vineyard to be picked for Laughing Jack when made into dry white and generally picked up to two weeks earlier than other Semillon clones in the area. Distinctive aromas include tropical fruits, grassy, honeydew melon, lemon and citrus.