Vineyard: Moorilla Estate
One of the things that makes Tasmania special is our lower temperatures and longer growing season. Our local climate affects vine output, in the temperature but also importantly in the rainfall, Hobart and Adelaide are the driest capital cities in Australia. We are in a ‘rain shadow’ behind kunanyi. Due to the cooler nature of Tasmania, our trellis system and growing techniques seek to maximise leaf exposure to the sun. Two trellis systems are used in our vineyard. Modified Lyre and a Double Guyot – both are considered vertically shoot positioned systems (VSP). That means that shoots grow up vertically and wires are used to support the vine and keep it growing in a vertical column. This allows for better sunlight and airflow as well as facilitating hand picking by keeping the fruit in a smaller area. A few rows are pulled up each year to keep a balance between older and younger vines and move the replantings (all cuttings from our existing vines) onto the Double Guyot VSP trellis system. Our older vines are still on Modified Lyre and have trunk issues caused by rabbits and disease (and lack of expertise in vineyard management in the 1980s and 1990s). Trunk disease is common here due to the historic lack of knowledge in Tasmania about hygienic pruning. Due to the slow nature of this disease, we began around 2015 to slowly replace the older vines (on the modified lyre system) with VSP trellis to accommodate more modern methods of viticulture and to better allow us to work organically. The plan is that the vines at the top will be 20 years old by the time the last rows are replaced in the bottom block
We have many varied soil types in such a small area. The top of the vineyard sits on about half a metre of sandy soil. Under this is Jurassic siltstone. Roots of vines grow through the cracks in the rock, searching for moisture. The bottom of the vineyard sits on metres of silty clay.
The fruit was left on the vine until flavour profiles showed an increase in perfume and floral characters before it was hand picked. Fruit quality was near ideal, with the lowest amount of disease pressure in at least 6 years. We also saw excellent yields.
The fruit was picked with the help of Caroline Alcorso and many old friends of the family who helped set up Moorilla. Their efforts were then put into helping fruit crush with their feet. The fruit was then immediately pressed. Juice quality was very good but noticeably higher than normal in phenolics. Despite this, pressings could still be free-run juice for fining and cold-settling. The juice was then split into 2 different tanks for fermentation. One smaller tank was inoculated, the other wild. The two tanks were kept separate for 1 month before being combined for extended lees stirring. After racking and keeping the wine on fine lees for a total of 7 months the wine was fined, stabilised and filtered for bottling on September 6, 2012.
7 months on lees then bottled and held in bottle for 10 years before being released on the 60th Anniversary in 2022.