The soils here at Edwards are the classic gravelly loams similar to those found in the Bordeaux region in France, and are perfect for growing grapes. However, the property was never bought with the idea of a vineyard or winery in mind; Brian just wanted to build some dams, run his cattle and land his planes – and being able to construct an airstrip along the eastern boundary was one of its main attractions.
It was soon realized though, that the potential for viticulture on the property was very high. With the amount of water that was captured in our valleys and the exceptional quality of our soils, planting grapes was a ‘no brainer’. In late 1993, we planted six acres of Semillon and since then our planting has steadily increased with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz - all now planted over 60 acres.Great care has been taken in the planning and running of the vineyard to ensure the best quality fruit is produced, because that is the essence of the best quality wine.When you visit and view the property from cellar door, you may notice that generally all of the blocks run plantings north to south. This is done to give the fruit optimum sunlight in the growing seasons during summer. Additionally, some of the vines are spur pruned, while others are cane pruned to control the fruit yield, which again contributes to the high quality of our fruit.
The reds are all shoot thinned in spring to open up the canopies, and allow for the low yielding vines to increase fruit flavour and colour intensity. Semillon is a variety which can crop heavily causing fruit flavours to be diluted, so for this reason we keep it on a spur pruning program and drop a number of the extra large bunches in the ripening weeks of early February. This allows for less chance of bunch rot (Botrytis) to set in, as well as intensifying flavours in the berry. Sauvignon Blanc is a variety that can produce fantastic quality as well as high yields. For this reason a four cane pruning system is implemented, and 10-12 tons per Ha can be achieved with all of the intense passion fruit flavour we all love in a good Sauvignon Blanc.
With Chardonnay we like to keep the yields low, so shoot thin in the early spring months to open up the canopies, keeping a little shading over the fruit as chardonnay is susceptible to sunburn on those hot summer afternoons. This delicious grape is then picked early to retain its vibrant citrus characters, before they move into the tropical spectrum. We produced our first wine in 1999 – a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blend, and were very lucky to win two trophies and three gold medals. This blend is still our most popular seller, and we look forward to producing many more quality wines for years to come.