The Llangibby Tempranillo vineyard has always been the base of the La Linea rosé. Located in the central Hills between Echunga and Mount Barker, it is on a gentle east-facing slope at approximately 360 metres above sea level. The soil is pretty uniform by Adelaide Hills standards: a relatively shallow grey-brown loam over clay. The site is of moderate vigour, and the vines do not need a great deal of ‘intensive’ management… selective shoot removal in spring is normally enough to ensure balanced canopies and adequate fruit exposure. The vines were planted in 1999, and unusually for South Australia, are grafted onto phylloxera-resistant rootstocks.
Mt Lofty Ranges
But the Riesling always showed that it had something special. If it is cropped too highly it won’t ripen; modest yields are essential. Hand-pruned, hand-picked, low vigour, stony soil, small vines; all of the attributes of quality Riesling.
The slopes are steep, really steep. The photos alongside don’t really show just how vertiginous they are, but believe us, they are the viticultural equivalent of a roller-coaster. Only the brave drive a tractor at this place.
Verdure Estate, Kuitpo
Verdure Estate belongs to the Schmaal family. Ben and Emma Schmaal tend their vineyard at Kuitpo (at the far southern end of the Hills region, above McLaren Vale) with great care and precision, and produce Tempranillo with terrific perfume and structure. Part of their success can be attributed to the red, ironstone-derived gravelly loam on which the vines grow, which seems eminently suitable for red varieties.