Site | Region
The estate is located in the Joanna section in the Wrattonbully wine region, the northern neighbour of Coonawarra, in South Australia.
It similarly benefits from soil profiles, like the famed Terra Rossa, and climate, like the Bonney Upwelling phenomenon cooling nights during summer periods. And then, Wrattonbully is a step up in elevation across gentle sloping ranges with greater variation of aspect among its vineyards, and slightly warmer daytime average temperatures.
With its climatic factors like diurnal temperature swings and coolness during the ripening period, combined with its unique physical presence like soils and aspect, the vineyard is suited to producing Right-Bank and Left-Bank varieties at their best.
Merlot | “Right Bank”
Within the estate lie exceptional parcels of merlot. It was established without compromise and every decision by the owners was with a deliberate long term vision to produce extraordinary merlot.
Five different clones of merlot are planted.
Soils profiles are classic terra rossa over limestone and iron rich loam over a clay and limestone base.
The parcel has an elevated rocky sloping rise, surveyed as among the highest in elevation in the region at 110m above sea level, with an aspect perfectly suited to creating a superior Autralian merlot.
The elements of elevation, multiple clones and soil profiles allow for microclimates within the one site.
The interplay between a plate of clay in the subsoils and limestone bedrock strike a balance to create merlot with complexity, structure and aromatics.
This parcel is consistently producing merlot that is talked about.
Meet your Mérite Makers
Mike and his wife, Colleen, purchased land in the Wrattonbully district in 2000 and went about planting the vineyard to cabernet, shiraz, malbec and merlot. Merlot was of particular interest to Mike, as he felt the region and the soils on the site might well prove to be perfect for it. When newer clones became available in Australia, Mike set about planting the ultimate 18ha parcel with each clone, driven by an obsession to create the country's best merlot.
Now, Mike and Colleen are creating wines from their vines. As vignerons they have been actively involved since the establishment of the vineyard, to growing the grapes each vintage, winemaking, marketing and sales. They started with the 2013 Merite Merlot and critics sat up and took note. "Unlike any other Merlot I know" wrote one, "a new benchmark" wrote another.
In 2020, in the middle of lockdowns, they shipped our first export orders to the USA and UK.
Yet they feel they are just getting started...