Since the planting of the first 5 hectares of vines in 1975, the Balnaves vineyards have grown steadily. The principal variety planted is Cabernet Sauvignon, which accounts for 70% of the area whilst the addition of Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Chardonnay make up the total vineyard area.
The vineyard is divided into small blocks of between one and two hectares, which take into account depth of soil, trellis design, vine clone and row direction. The quality of wine produced from these small blocks is evaluated each year and recorded. This practice proves the validity of the French concept of “terroir” or the effect that micro-climate; geological features and other factors have on the quality of the wine produced. Such effects are clearly seen in the Balnaves vineyard at Coonawarra.
In the early nineties we made a decision to put more effort into improving the quality of the fruit in some of the non-performing areas within our Coonawarra vineyard.