Our Magical Terroir
Our Vineyard was established in 1886. We work with varieties carefully selected by our ancestors for their suitability to the Rutherglen conditions. While we respect tradition, we are not bound by it. We continue to restructure, develop and innovate to reflect changing markets and new technologies.
The Moodemere Terroir
The first vines were planted in Rutherglen around 1851. Among the front runners were the Turner Family who established our Lakeside vineyard in 1886. The vines were planted in a North/Southerly aspect on the bank of Lake Moodemere where they enjoy a terroir unlike any other. Varieties currently found in the Lakeside vineyard include Durif, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Cinsaut, Merlot, Riesling, Chardonnay and Grenache Blanc.
Rutherglen’s climate is ‘strongly Continental’, with very hot summer days and cold nights, subject to spring frosts and autumn rain. Thousands of years ago the Murray River swept around the bank upon which the Lake Moodemere vineyard lies. As the river changed its course it left a billabong, Lake Moodemere, in its wake. The sandy red loam soil, extending 12 feet below the surface, is a remnant of the original path of the Murray. The wind pattern rising up the bank from the water creates its own unique microclimate. The result is wine of distinct character displaying bold varietal fruit and soft, luxurious tannins.
Wine & Lamb Production
For seven generations the Chambers Family have combined wine and lamb production. Our focus on sustainable practices has enabled the elimination of pesticides. Allowing the sheep to graze in the vineyard through winter, when the vines are dormant, keeps weeds to a minimum and assists in beneficial natural fertilisation.
With our innovative mulch programme we are achieving even greater sustainability in the vineyard. By utilising straw from our own pastures, we are leading change to reduce impacts of extreme heat on vines while reducing the amount of water required. 26 year old vineyard manager, Joel Chambers, explains “The layer of straw on top of the ground directly affects soil moisture content. It creates a shield between the under-vine soil and the heat and because it’s really cool under the straw, it retains water and makes for a happier environment for the root system which has benefits for the vine. We’ve already eliminated pesticides. Through this most recent innovation, we should eliminate the need for herbicide spray as well.” Mulching not only helps the vines to get through the heat but also saves on irrigation, improves soil health, increases earthworms and accelerates soil microbial activity.