The soils at Pindarie are best described as red brown earths with underlying limestone (calcrete) that varies in depth. Extensive soil surveys were carried out prior to planting to select the appropriate sites for producing high quality wine grapes. Our belief is that wine grape varieties should be chosen to reflect the regionality, or emphasis on.. as the French say “terroir”. The Western Ridge of the Barossa Valley’s terroir, is the combination of soil type & macroclimate. The climate at Pindarie is best described as a warm continental climate, with a Mediterranean influence. We like our winters to be wet and cold, Springs to be warm and somewhat wet, summers to be dry but not too hot, and opening rains in Autumn to start the seasons over again. Wishful thinking is all we can say when working on the land and some vintages answer our wishes well.
Natural vegetation grows between the rows as a cover-crop, and the sheep are let in throughout autumn and winter to keep the midrow mown. In some blocks we allow the midrow vegetation to set seed to build up a seed bank of naturally occurring grasses. We are constantly striving for the best sustainable vineyard practices to maximise the potential of the vineyard.
Soil health and water conservation is fundamental for sustainability. Our philosophy in the vineyard is sustainable viticulture so as not to upset the balance of nature. We see many natural insects and they help keep the unwanted pests under control. All the shelter belts surrounding the vineyards are planted to native species common to this area and this helps to provide habitats for the native birds and insects. We strongly believe great wines begin in the vineyard. A great bottle of wine grows from the ground up.
Area– 36 hectares
Elevation– 170m-250m undulating
Aspect– eastern slopes with rows running north / south
Soils– red brown earths and Terra Rossa strips on the upper ridge
Vineyard plantings– 1998 onwards
Rainfall– 470mm average annual
Shiraz is the classic variety of the Barossa Valley and ours was planted in 1998 being the first vineyard for the Pindarie Property. Clone 1654 was selected for its ability to produce high quality wines and it is well suited to the climate and sought after red soils of the Barossa. Being on the Western Ridge it is an opportunity to sample the different sub-regional characteristics that shine through in our wines, due to the difference in terroir from the Valley floor.
Tempranillo is one of Spain’s most important red grape varieties and as Pindaire is not dissimilar in climate and terrain of several regions in Spain, Tempranillo is therefore well suited to our site. We have planted it on the shallower stony soils as it can be quite a vigorous variety. Temprano means early in Spanish, which indicates Tempranillo’s ability to ripen early. We have planted the clone D8V12 and it has produced sensational quality since planting it in 2001. The berries are thick skinned and are capable of producing high coloured wines that are long lasting (hence Black Hinge Reserve Tempranillo). Tempranillo is known to be a low acid variety and that is why it is well suited to blending with Sangiovese, its main co-star in the “TSS “blend.
Sangiovese is an Italian variety originating from the central part of Italy and the principal variety used in wines of Tuscany. The variety itself is of ancient origin and the word Sangiovese literally means “blood of Jove”.
It is well suited to our red brown earth soils and especially the stonier sections where it can express its true characteristics. Being a slower ripening variety with high acid, it marries well in a blend with Tempranillo. Of the three clones planted, we have found the ‘Brunello’ clone to have the best flavour and balance with acid. Sangiovese, blends well with Tempranillo (our TSS blend) and it also makes a delicious dry Rosé.
First planted in 2001 using CW44, a Coonawarra clone, selected for its high quality performance and smaller berries. A single vineyard block, suited to the warmth of Pindarie’s sub-region. This variety offers generosity and depth each vintage. Small berries and low yields mean winemaking techniques are kept simple and gentle.
In 2014 we planted two acres of the Italian variety Montepulciano. Originating from central and southern Italy it is another variety that loves the conditions on the Western Ridge, it is late ripening and well suited to our climate. Montepulciano has low acidity with strong tannins and produces bright coloured vibrant wines that improve for 3 to 4 years after vintage. Our "Small Block" Montepulciano, is a welcome addition to the Pindarie stable of wines.
Follow the link below to the Vinehealth Australia website, if you enjoy wandering through the many wine regions of Australia then this site has information and videos well worth watching.