Our objective is to manage our whole property sustainably through our farming and land management practices.
The vineyard sits on the top of a ridge overlooking the Barwon River and You Yangs Range. It sits in a rain shadow and is exposed to plenty of wind. The combination of our vine management and the location mean that disease pressures are low and so sprays are minimised. We have planted native vegetation around the vineyard to provide shelter and to encourage natural predators, though the birds also like this for resting between vineyard forays during vintage.
The challenging side of the rain shadow and limestone soil is that young vines struggle to establish themselves and losses have been high. In order to improve the moisture retention of the soil we have established a regular program of undervine composting. This helps retain moisture, puts nutrients into the soil and improves soil structure.
We have converted large areas of the property to native vegetation using tree belts, fenced remnant vegetation and replanting. These include a 4.5 hr area that has been planted to reflect the historic vegetation of the Barrabool Hills woodlands. In this area we are also growing rare Barrabool Hills plants Bursaria Spinosa ssp Longifolia (Broad Leafed Sweet Bursaria), Callitris Glaucophylla (White Cypress Pine), Acacia Implexa (Lightwood) and Banksia Marginata (Silver Banksia)for the production of seed.
As the vegetation cover has grown on our place and on surrounding properties the variety and number of native birds has increased and we now have regular visits from kangaroos and wallabies.
Gordon TAFE now uses the property for their students doing courses in conservation and land management management.