Cool wines with altitude from South Australia's Mount Crawford Vineyard.
If you come to our part of the world one day, you’ll find the coldest recorded place in South Australia most days is Mount Crawford. The weather station sits at the top of the hill, just up from our vineyard. Great news definitely for premium quality white grapes. Consider also that the vineyard has a superb aspect and is in the best part of one of Australia’s greatest white wine producing regions and you have the basis for crafting some of the Australia’s finest white wines – now available under the new Thorn-Clarke Mount Crawford label.
In Eden Valley and especially with the white varieties the continental climate is key. Elevation at Mount Crawford and low humidity in summer means warm days are followed by cool nights. Being in the Southern Hemisphere after solstice the sun heads North again. Having exposure to that sun in the critical late summer early Autumn ripening period is critical to the grapes philological development.
The site faces North East and so the vines get sunshine early and then for most of the day encouraging the ripening process. The more time the grapes spend between 18 degrees and 28 degrees the more complete the development and resulting varietal character in the wine.
For the same reason the vineyards of the Cote D’or in Burgundy are on the Southern facing slopes. Being on the slope of quite a steep hill, the soils have been leached over the years making the soil lean and lacking nutrients. This makes it very difficult for the vines to be too vigorous. They have to work hard to survive which produces more intense flavours and varietal character.