Wallis Vineyard


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Peter Wallis had worked with Richard McIntyre at Prince Henry's Hospital in the late 1970s, helped plant windbreaks at his newly established Moorooduc Estate in 1982 and was part of the grape picking team in the mid 1980s. Peter and his wife Elizabeth were inspired by Rick and Jill McIntyre's passion for their new enterprise and, after also working with another doctor, David Leslie, during the time he was establishing Turramurra Estate, it seemed appropriate that they follow their rapidly developing passion for Pinot Noir and the great wines of Burgundy, and establish their own vineyard.

They eventually found land which appeared suitable in Main Ridge and consulted Ian Macrae who gave the land the "thumbs up" and so the deal was settled and the land purchased in 1992. It was a vacant 50 acre steep NE facing block with few trees and a permanent creek in the valley at the bottom of the slope (and a big view to Westernport Bay in the east).

Ian Macrae initially advised planting 5 acres of Chardonnay (as the site was potentially cool) and see how it went. Despite being initially disappointed at not planting Pinot Noir, they pressed on and established dams, windbreaks and buildings.

The first significant harvest was 1995 and despite the low crop levels, the Wallis’s were inspired by the quality of the fruit and wine and so proceeded to plant Pinot Noir, choosing the lowest most sheltered part of the block, and initially planted three different clones - MV6, D2V5 and G5V15 - covering approximately 2.5 hectares.

See here for the history of Ten Minutes By Tractor.



Variety Pinot Noir Chardonnay Pinot Gris Tempranillo Total
Clone MV6, 777, 115 P58 D1V7 D8V12  
Planted 1995-2007 1992 1995 1995-2000  
Area (ha) 2.37 1.88 0.40 0.19 4.84

Wallis Vineyard sits in the upper zone of a valley which begins at Beechers Way at 196m above sea level and falls to Westernport Bay over a distance of just under 6 kilometres. The vineyard is on a gentle north east facing slope and is our lowest vigour vineyard.

Cotton Tree Creek, a spring fed creek, runs along the valley base; it runs with good water quality throughout the year. Its presence means a higher water table underneath the vineyard due to its proximity, this influences sub-soil moisture and surface and sub-surface drainage is important. Cotton Tree Creek is joined by Musk Creek and then joins Manton Creek just before it flows into Westernport Bay midway between Shoreham and Flinders (Manton Creek begins near the Spedding Vineyard).

Slope & Elevation

Wallis is our second “flattest” vineyard - the average slope is 4° against 1° at Coolart Road, 6° at Judd and 5° at McCutcheon. Also our second lowest vineyard reaching 142m at its highest point (Coolart Road is 72m, Judd is 206m and McCutcheon 200m).

The Wallis Vineyard slope differs from McCutcheon and Judd in that its slope does not match the high and low points of the vineyard, nor does the row orientation coincide with the slope. An “average” cross section through the vineyard has a 17m vertical fall from 135m to 118m over a horizontal distance of about 215m, therefore the average slope is about 1 in 13 or just over 4°. The highest point in the vineyard, the south west corner, is 142m; the lowest, the north east corner, is 112m.

Slope Orientation

North east. The unique position of this vineyard means it receives good daytime light and heat exposure though the valley is open to cooling sea breezes and night time temperatures fall quickly as the valley acts as a drain drawing the cooler night air down through the vineyard and off to Westernport Bay 5 kilometres away.

Row Orientation

The three Wallis blocks all have a slightly different orientation ranging from north north east for the Piano Block through north east by north for the Tree Block and east north east for the Middle Block – these are all approximately down the slope, orientated north east. This facilitates drainage down the slope.


The soils here are the red ferrosols common to the Main Ridge sub-region.

There are the beginnings of brown dermosols and brown ferrosols along the creek line here - these are more indicative of the Flinders soil profile, however, we believe soil type is a key component of the terroir of our Main Ridge vineyards and the Wallis Vineyard remains consistent with the others.

The top soil, classed as a silty clay loam, runs to a depth of about 20-30cm over these red ferrosols. It suffers little from compaction and is generally well aerated, with excellent drainage and no water logging.

Water drains roughly to the north-east (north north east through east north east) along the vine rows with land contours towards Cotton Tree Creek.

These are very broad soil classifications and we are continuing to investigate the more specific details in each vineyard, in fact, each block.


Taking Pinot Noir harvest dates from our reference blocks as a proxy for temperature, Coolart Road is our warmest vineyard followed by Wallis then Judd and McCutcheon. This we would expect – Coolart Road is the lowest followed by Wallis then Judd and McCutcheon is the highest. And of course it is never that simple, there are specifics in each reference vineyard that effect the averages… 

14 Year Average Pinot Noir Harvest Dates...

Harvest differences (days)...

   Coolart    Wallis      Judd    McCutcheon
Coolart   13 March - -14 -14 -19
Wallis   31 March +14 - 0 -5
Judd   31 March +14 0 - -5
McCutcheon   5 April +19 +5 +5 -


See here for more detail on climate.


Wind breaks along the north west, south east and south west boundaries protect the vineyard from the strongest winds – the northerlies and south-south westerlies - but it experiences lighter effects, particularly from the north and east.

Exposure to cooling sea breezes up the Cotton Tree valley and the draw down of cooler evening air through the valley assist with cooling of this vineyard during summer; the hotter northerly winds tend to blow over the top.


Vineyard Blocks

Piano Block
Grape Variety Tempranillo Pinot Noir Pinot Noir Pinot Noir
Clone D8V12 777 115 115


D2V5 planted
95, grafted
to 777 05
D2V5 planted
95, grafted
to 115 05
D2V5 planted
95, grafted
to 115 07
Bearing Yes Yes Yes Yes
Area (ha)  0.09 0.46 0.39 0.25
Elevation (m) 133-140 126-138 123-137 123-137
Slope 1:11 / ~5° 1:13 / ~4°  1:13 / ~4° 1:13 / ~4°
Slope orientation North north east North north east North north east North north east
Row orientation North east North east North east North east
Rootstock Own D2V5 D2V5 D2V5
Row/vine spacing (m) 2.2 x 1.5 2.2 x 1.5 2.2 x 1.5 2.2 x 1.5
Vine density (/ha) 3,030 3,030 3,030 3,030

This block is in the north west quarter of the property, the highest part of the vineyard. Its name comes from its outline seen from above - it is shaped like a grand piano.

Middle Block
Grape Variety Pinot Noir Pinot Noir Pinot Gris
Clone 777 MV6 D1V7

G5V15 planted
95, grafted
to 777 in 05


Bearing Yes Yes Yes
Area (ha) 0.15 1.12 0.40
Elevation (m) 119-125 119-128 119-131
Slope 1:20 / ~3° 1:16 / ~4° 1:11 / ~5°
Slope orientation North north east North north east North north east
Row orientation  East north east East north east East north east
Rootstock G5V15 Own Own
Row/vine spacing (m) 2.2 x 1.5 2.2 x 1.5 2.2 x 1.5
Vine density (/ha) 3,030 3,030 3,030

The middle of the vineyard between the Piano and Tree Blocks.

This small block, and particularly the MV6, is a consistent producer of great Pinot Noir, it is the core of the Wallis Single Vineyard Pinot Noir, produced in  2010, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2003 and 2000.

Tree Block
Grape Variety Chardonnay Chardonnay Tempranillo
Clone P58 P58 D8V12



Shiraz planted
92, grafted to
Temp in 00
Bearing Yes Yes Yes
Area (ha) 0.66 1.22 0.10
Elevation (m) 116-127 113-122 113-121
Slope 1:14 / ~4° 1:14 / ~4° 1:14 / ~4°
Slope orientation North north east North north east North north east
Row orientation North east by north North east by north North east by north
Rootstock Own Own Own
Trellis VSP Scott-Henry VSP
Row/vine spacing (m) 2.2 x 1.5 2.2 x 1.5 2.2 x 1.5
Vine density (/ha) 3,030 3,030 3,030

The Tree Block is nestled low in the valley and protected from most winds. Our Wallis Single Vineyard Chardonnay comes from this block, produced in 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2004 and 2000.


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