The Mewstone Vineyard lies on the banks of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel in the farmland of Flowerpot. The gently north facing slopes capture the cool southern sunshine to produce premium wine making grapes. The vineyard is protected from the harsh prevailing westerly winds by the hills that rise quickly from the water. The soils are predominantly duplex soils formed on Jurassic dolerite. This consists of loam textured topsoil over a sandy loam horizon on clay subsoil.
The vineyard is hand pruned and the fruit hand picked with the help of family and friends. We manage the vineyard from the ground up. The extra effort put into ensuring a vibrant ecosystem below the ground translates into quality fruit on the vines above. We are fortunate to have leading soil microbiologist, Letetia Ware, as a close neighbour. Letetia has guided our vineyard nutrition plan from the beginning. Through extensive use of mulches, composts and compost teas we have been able to continually improve our soils. Letetia tells us it’s all about the ‘microbes’. We think you can taste the difference.
The first two hectares were planted with a focus primarily on Pinot Noir. The other varieties were Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah. The vines were planted to 1.8m wide rows with vine spacings of 1.2m, giving us 4630 vines per hectare. We have a canopy height of 1.1 meters to capture as much sunshine as possible.
Over the next two years 1.6 hectares will go in consisting of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling.
Originally 1.1 hectares was planted across two blocks. The Top and Bottom blocks have a section of clonal planting and a mixed planting. Pommard and Bernard 115 each account for 27%, Bernard 777 and MV6 for 18% and Bernard 114 for 10%.
The next phase of planting will cover almost one hectare. We’ll plant seven unique parcels on the Water, Hill, Short and Winery blocks. Three parcels will be new Entav-Inra clones 667, 828 and 943 on rootstock. Another will be Abel clone on own roots for the first time.
A third of a hectare on the Top Block was planted with a section of clonal planting and a mixed planting. Bernard clones 96 and 277 each account for 29%, 95 for 24% and 76 for 18%.
The next phase of planting on the Hill Block will bring the Chardonnay up to a total of 0.6 hectares. One block will use Entav-Inra clones 548 and 1066 on rootstock, while the other will use Mendoza on own roots for the first time.
A sixth of a hectare on the Wing Block was planted with four Riesling clones, two originating from Geisenheim (GM) and two from Neustadt (I10V). GM198 accounts for 45%, I10V15 for 25%, GM 239 for 20% and I10V14 for 10%.
The new planting on the Hill Block will increase our Riesling area to almost one third of a hectare. We’ll use equal amounts of GM198, GM239, I10V14 and GM110-18.
A sixth of a hectare on the Wing Block was planted to F4V6 Clone Sauvignon Blanc. It has a wider vine spacing of 1.8m to allow the more vigorous variety to express itself naturally.
A third of a hectare on the Bottom Block was planted to R6WV28 clone Syrah, commonly referred to as the Old Tahbilk clone. It also has a wider vine spacing of 1.8m. We’re aiming to keep yields low to enable earlier ripening and ensure premium quality.