The only way to access our Cellar Door is via the winding driveway that meanders its way through our 13 acre vineyard. Planting that vineyard was the first priority for James when he purchased this property 15 years ago, and today the love and care that he’s poured into it pays enormous dividends. We make our wines exclusively from that beautiful fruit, all grown here in Krondorf.
One question we often get asked in Cellar Door is why the vines are planted in different configurations - Shiraz and Cabernet in the recognisable trellised formation, and a cluster of Mataro and Grenache planted as bushvines at the entrance to the property.
There are two answers to that questions. Firstly, we are particularly interested in the heritage and history of the Barossa and we try to preserve that in as many ways as we can. Traditionally vineyards were always planted as bushvines - it was only once mechanisation became commonplace after the Second World War that trellised vineyards presented an advantage, because suddenly you could use tractors to work the vineyards, and you needed uniform rows and spacing to do that. Hence trellises became the norm.
But the second reason is that Mataro and Grenache particular like a little bit of warmth - they love the warm temperate climate of the Barossa and we help them along a little by planting them as bushvines. The wider reach of the canes means that more sunlight can penetrate into the canopy, while being lower to the ground means that they benefit from radiated warmth from the soil, which has soaked up all the sun’s rays during the day and then beams it back up into the bushvine even after the sun has set.
You do get slightly lower yields from bushvines and of course they’re much more labour intensive to care for, but the benefits tell at Vintage, when that gorgeous, concentrated, rich, ripe fruit makes its way into the winery and we reap the rewards of another year’s work in the vineyard.
So the next time you’re visiting Cellar Door, slow down a little as you drive up the driveway, and you’ll notice our bushvine vineyard - a little nod to the traditions of the past, and the foundation of the future of our family business.