- First planted with Pinot Gris in 2004, half was re-planted with Chardonnay in November 2019 and the remaining half the following year.
- The vines are planted at over 4 times the density (75cm x 1.1m x 1.1m) of a normal vineyard at 12,120 vines/ha.
- In total, there are 7,200 vines planted on this site.
- The region’s first ever organically certified vineyard in 2007.
- It is also the first ever high density Chardonnay block planted in main land Australia.
- This site is as steep as Judd – the average slope is 6° – and at 190m a little lower than Judd and McCutcheon.
- Because of the easterly slope the vines receive very good light but without the intense heat which keeps the fruit cooler during the growing and ripening season.
The Manton Creek valley starts just north of the vineyard near the junction of Mornington-Flinders and Tucks Roads. Manton Creek is joined by Cotton Tree Creek just before it flows into Westernport Bay midway between Shoreham and Flinders (Cotton Tree Creek begins near the Wallis Vineyard).
Named after our eldest daughter Gabrielle whose ancestor, David Fittler, on her mothers side, immigrated to Australia in 1848 with a group of vine tenderers from the Rheingau, Germany. They moved to Northern New South Wales where they planted vineyards in the Armidale area and tried to help establish a wine industry there - ultimately they were defeated by black rot and the local conditions. They eventually became graziers and settled there, where many of David Fittler’s descendants still live today.
Like McCutcheon the slope here is due east. The easterly fall of this vineyard offers perfect gentle warming of the soil from sunrise through to the late afternoon. During the day the vines receive very good light without the intense heat which keeps the fruit cooler during the growing and ripening season.
SLOPE & ELEVATION
Gabrielle has a high point of 197m not quite as high as Judd (206m) or McCutcheon (200m) nor as low as Spedding (187m), Wallis (142m) or Coolart Road (72m). With a slope of 6° it is as steep as Judd (6°) and the eastern slope of Spedding (6°) and steeper than both McCutcheon (5°), the western slope of Spedding (5°), Wallis (4°) and Coolart Road (1°).
In total an average 7m vertical fall over a horizontal distance of 61m, almost 1 in 9.
All the vine rows run down the slope, orientated east to west. This facilitates drainage down the slope, orientates the rows perpendicular to the strongest of the prevailing winds (north and south to south-west), reduces the impact of any intense heatwave bursts (the hottest afternoon sun from the west has less impact than on west facing rows, ie those running north-south).
Water drains roughly to the east with land contours towards Manton Creek.
The soils here are the red ferrosols common to the Main Ridge sub-region.
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.
These are very broad soil classifications and we are continuing to investigate the more specific details in each vineyard, in fact, each block
|Slope||1:9 / ~6°|
|Row orientation||East to west|
|Row/vine spacing (m)||75cm x 1.1m x 1.1m|
|Vine density (/ha)||12,1200|