Our first Terre à Terre wine was a Sauvignon Blanc from the Crayères Vineyard made in 2008. In 2009, we made our first Cabernet Sauvignon from the Crayères Vineyard, and in 2014 we made our first Cabernet Franc and Shiraz. Since then, we have been refining our winemaking and blending approach of the Crayères Vineyard fruit, culminating with the existing range of white and red wines.
We manage the Crayères Vineyard ourselves and retain all the fruit every year for our own wines. The close spaced (1.5m x 1.5m) Crayères Vineyard is cane pruned (Guyot Double), and is pruned by hand. The rocky soils of the Crayères Vineyard do not allow us to control undervine weed growth mechanically. We limit the use of chemicals sprays to sulphur and copper and some preventive fungal sprays. We manually manage trellis and shoot growth during the growing season to optimise sunshine in the canopy, and we also control yields with manual bunch thinning when required. All of our fruit is handpicked and delivered to the Tiers winery in the Piccadilly Valley for processing. Our precision in the management of the Crayères Vineyard, combined with our 18 years of experience with the ecosystem of this very unique vineyard allows us to produce exceptional fruit.
We make two wines from our Crayères Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc fruit. The very best parcel of fruit makes our Crayères Vineyard wine, these grapes are whole bunch pressed, and the juice is fermented in seasoned 600L oak demi-muids. Our Down to Earth Sauvignon Blanc is crushed and destemmed, and fermented partially in old oak and partly in stainless steel to enhance its youthful vibrancy. For both wines, sulphur is added at the end of fermentation to inhibit malolactic fermentation, and the wine rests on lees for 6- 9 months before bottling with a light filtration.
The Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Shiraz are all harvested at full ripeness and processed separately. They are crushed and destemmed and the must is fermented either in larger open top fermenters with boards to keep the cap submerged (called potters), or in smaller 1-tonne fermenters, with daily plunging to keep the cap submerged. We add some whole bunches in select years to the Cabernet Franc fermenters. After the end of fermentation, the wine is pressed off skins and into tank, to go through malolactic fermentation. At the end of the malolactic fermentation, the wine is racked into oak barriques. After 6-12 months ageing in barriques, the wines are racked to old large oak Foudres (4,000L) where they age for a further 6-12 months. After a light egg white filtration, the wines are racked off oak, ready for blending and bottling.
We now have over 12 years of experimenting with the fruit from our Crayères Vineyard and have determined that the best wine styles for the vineyard are:
• Our barrel aged and textural Sauvignon Blanc, harvested late, which is reminiscent of some of the best white Bordeaux;
• Our Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc-based Shiraz blends, which follow the long tradition of blending Shiraz and Cabernet in South Australia to make some of the best fine wines Australia can produce.