OUR Vineyard

FROM THE VINEYARD

We are firm believers at Sutton Grange that the vineyard should make the wine. We are winegrowers. This belief means we nurture the vines to produce the best quality fruit. Practicing both organic and biodynamic viticulture you will often see sheep in the vineyard mowing the lawn or guinea fowl eating the bugs. We also use manure from other parts of the farm on the vineyard to promote the ecosystem. During the year we hand prune and at vintage hand pick, which is not the most economical of methods but ensures minimal damage to the vines and maximum health of the fruit. We grow the best quality fruit to craft the best quality wines. 

 

CLIMATE

The proximity of Mount Alexander plays an important role in the climate and soils. The vineyard is in the Bendigo G.I., on the southern edge neighbouring Heathcote and the Macedon ranges. These latter regions are part of cool climates areas. Climatically being north of the Ranges, annual rainfall is typically around 550 mm. Budburst starts at end of September to early October. Flowering commences end of November or the beginning of December, veraison early to mid February, and maturity expected late February to end of April. With the different varieties planted, the picking season is widespread, allowing us long maceration for our red wines. The vegetative cycle is relatively long, and the beautiful Autumns make a very favourable environment to pick grapes with optimal maturity, especially with polyphénols.

SOIL

The Sutton Grange vineyards are planted on the Mount Alexander (780 m) foothills, the vines being at around 100m above sea level on a relief of gentle hills. The main geological layer is granite (granodiorite), more or less decomposed, alternating with clay, sand, quartz, mica. Some small pockets of red soil with basalt ‘flotters’ have been found in some of the blocks. The soil is sandy-loam to clay-loam, acidic, very permeable and deep.

"Big but exquisite.no caveats or qualms: this is a beauty. violets, anise, blackberries and assorted pepper and spices. it's bold, it's integrated, it's firm, it's ready for anything."  

Campbell Mattinson, Halliday Magazine

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VINEYARD STRUCTURE

Vines are planted on a trellis system with a density of 2777 plants/ha. Sangiovese and the future plantation were a higher density of 3333 plants /ha. No herbicides or insecticides are used. Irrigation is provided from an extensive drip system, although we perform minimal watering. We intentionally produce lower yields from the vines to ensure high quality produce. We aim to a level between 30 and 50 hl/ha, allowing us to have small berries concentrated in aromatic and phenolic compounds. Green harvest - a practice of reducing the amount of grape per vine- has been used since 2001 and is another tool used to increase grape quality and control the yield.