Our Vineyard

What makes our vineyard site so special?

It has to do with our location in the Whicher Range, our soils and micro climate (our “Terrior”). We are on the same latitude as Juniper Estate and Vasse Felix, and we share similar rocky gravelly ironstone sandy loam soils as the highly acclaimed Wilyabrup sub region of Margaret River.

Our vineyard is planted on a north facing slope at an elevation of 170 metres above sea level, and we are well placed to take advantage of cool winds at night coming off the Southern Ocean during summer cooling down our vineyard. End result is that we consistently produce high quality wines with great flavour intensity and finesse.

Whicher Ridge Vineyard

We planted our vineyard over two years in 2004 and 2005. The total vineyard area is 5 hectares (12 acres). Vines are planted 2 metres apart with row spacings of 3 metres. We followed sustainable grape growing practices from the first day that we started ripping the rows and planting the vine rootlings.

We continue to use an integrated pest management (IPM) program for managing grapevine pests and diseases in our vineyard. This minimises our use of synthetic chemicals and we do not use any pesticides in our vineyard.

Whicher ridge Wines Vineyard - Cabernet Grapes

The vineyard was planted to 3 varieties which are best suited to our terroir. In 2004, we planted 2.5 hectares sauvignon blanc, with 0.7 hectares of viognier and 1.8 hectares of cabernet sauvignon planted in 2005. In total, 10,000 vines were planted, all by hand.

Healthy vines grow in healthy soil, and we use various management practices such as undervine mulching and spreading compost under the vines to encourage worm activity and beneficial insects. The compost is made on site using the winery waste (skins and stalks) and our garden green waste.

The Vineyard - Whicher Ridge Wines

Following planting, the next 3 years were spent training the young vines up to and along the cordon wires. The sauvignon blanc vines were trained onto double cordon wires, and the cabernet sauvignon and viognier were trained onto single cordon wires.

Neil uses two different types of pruning methods, cane and spur. Half of the sauvignon blanc and all of the viognier are cane pruned, with the rest of the vineyard being spur pruned. The type of pruning chosen has an effect on the size of the berries and bunches. Spur pruned vines usually produce smaller bunches and berries.

The Vineyard - Whicher Ridge Wines

Four years after planting our vineyard, we made our first Whicher Ridge wines. The first wines released in 2008 under our new label were a Sauvignon Blanc and a Margaret River Shiraz. Our 2008 Elevation Cabernet Sauvignon was released in 2010 after spending two years maturing in oak barrels, and the first Viognier from our vineyard was released in 2009.

Vine canopies are managed using vertical shoot positioning. This requires us to lift foliage wires twice during the growing season as the shoots grow. This Type of vine management ensures good light penetration inside the canopies to assist with optimal flavour development in the berries as the grapes ripen.