BELVIDERE ESTATE (NEW)

NATIONAL VINEYARD FUND OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED

THE VINEYARD

The new section of the Belvidere Estate vineyard is located in the western edge of the Langhorne Creek region approximately 6 km west of Strathalbyn and 9km from the heart of the Langhorne Creek township.  The 93ha property is located on Langhorne Creek Road, Belvidere and is approximately 40m above sea level.

The vineyard was planted from 2006 on a property that was traditionally a broad acre farm used for cereal cropping and lucerne.  The original cabin is now operating as the Vineyard Road Cellar Door.

There are two sections to the vineyard land separated by 1.5km and connected by an irrigation pipeline.  The western section runs alongside the Angus River and is relatively flat but above the river bed by 10 metres.  The eastern section, which is alongside the Marandoo Estate Limited owned Old Belvidere Vineyard, is slightly undulating and rises onto a hillside above the cellar door and dams. 

The soils vary but are generally alluvial sandy loams over a duplex clay base.  They provide ideal growing conditions for premium wine grapes. The vineyard is irrigated with water from a pipeline running 17km to Lake Alexandrina. 

VINEYARD LAYOUT

The vineyard is planted with a mix of 3 red varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Merlot) and 2 white varieties (Sauvignon Blanc & Pinot Grigio).  Previously, there was Semillon and Viognier on the property.  Both of these varieties were removed and have been either grafted to Shiraz or replanted to Cabernet & Shiraz since 2011.

The key varieties of Shiraz and Cabernet are the equal most desired variety for the region.  Merlot, Pinot Gris, and Sauvignon Blanc are the other main varieties planted.

The current mix of wine grape varieties planted on New Belvidere Estate were chosen by FABAL Operations in conjunction with the major purchaser of grapes from the property, Pernod Ricard Winemakers and Accolade.

CLIMATE AND SOIL

The average rainfall of the western region of the Langhorne Creek is approximately 420mm per annum.  More importantly, the majority falls in the winter and spring (May to October) periods with lower likelihood of summer rain during the growing season.  This results in reduced disease pressure from post rain events.  There is low likelihood of hail but frost may affect the lower part of the site in some years.  There is approximately 1,800 hours of sunshine from October to April of each (the heat degree index).
Soil nutrition is another important factor that can affect growth and FABAL Operations implemented (pre-planting) and maintains a regime for management of this risk.  NVFA4L expends considerable resources to ensure that nutrient levels are monitored regularly.

WATER AND IRRIGATION

SUPPLEMENTAL IRRIGATION
Grapevines require regular watering to supplement the natural annual rainfall.  To produce the quality of wine grapes expected for this business, the Belvidere Estate vineyard requires approximately 2.5ML of water per hectare of supplementary irrigation give the regions annual rainfall.
The western region of Langhorne Creek has limited ground water for use in irrigation.  Accordingly, the Belvidere Estate vineyard has never relied on this source for its supplementary irrigation.
IRRIGATION SYSTEM
The water is delivered to the grapevines through a series of pumps and mainlines according to the irrigation designed for the vineyard.
The sophisticated ‘in-line’ drip irrigation system, supplied by Netafim Australia in 2007, is considered the most effective supply of irrigation.  The irrigation system is controlled by a computer network which enables the efficient application of the water through centralised control.