Over twenty years ago, as then young fresh faced winemakers, we were granted permission to take cuttings from some of the Barossa and Clare valleys finest and most iconic Shiraz, Cabernet and Malbec vineyards. At the time, the vineyards ranged in age from 30 to 100 years old, which allowed us to collect a unique selection of original, non-clonal grape cultivars.
These cuttings were planted in 1996 on a 10 acre river-frontage block at Bridgewater on Loddon, a town 40km north-west of Bendigo in Central Victoria, forming the vineyard we now call our Old Clone vineyard. From the outset, the vineyard produced fruit of outstanding quality, complex flavours and incredible colours – factors unique to this vineyard and which we attribute to the vines parent stock. Wines we produced from this vineyard include our Special Release Shiraz, Old Clone Shiraz, Shiraz Viognier and Cabernet Malbec.
In 1997 we established a second vineyard at Bridgewater on Loddon, planting a 20 acre block to the best clones available of Shiraz, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier. This block producers our MT Tempranillo, Shiraz and Vineyard Blend wines.
Both vineyards are hand pruned to 22 buds per vine, thereby encouraging low yields and greater concentration of fruit flavours. The open canopy created by this practice allows greater air flow through the vines and reduces the need for fungal sprays. The inherent dry growing conditions at Bridgewater during summer produce in a very low disease risk in the vineyards overall.