“From five blocks on the Koerner and Castine family vineyards, with canopy management seeking to avoid sunburn. The grapes were pressed in Watervale to minimise phenolic extraction, the juice fermented at the Vickery winery. Feels riper and richer than its Eden Valley sibling, but the chemical analysis says otherwise..” – 94 points, James Halliday 2019 Wine Companion
“Dried flowers, toast and some early development to sniff. The colour is light straw-yellow, also seeming a tad forward. It’s a soft, dry, slightly fuller flavoured wine, with a youthful crispness and good balanced acidity. This has some richness as well as grip and density, and would handle stronger foods.” – 94 Points, Huon Hooke
Vickery Wines is the culmination of John Vickery’s half-century of winemaking experience, partnered alongside family friend and talented winemaker Phil Lehmann. Together they create Rieslings that showcase John’s extensive expertise with the most noble of white wine varieties.
It begins in the regions where John made his mark. Eden Valley in the Barossa and Watervale in the Clare Valley. It goes further into the sub-districts of these regions that John knows intimately, and partnering with growers who have the right vineyards in the right locations to produce the best possible fruit. Once fruit is picked at optimum ripeness, Phil and John employ the winemaking techniques that he has refined and perfected over time, to craft Rieslings that carry his signature style and fastidious quality standards.
The Vickery label is in effect, a time capsule for John’s wealth of winemaking knowledge. It allows his experience and winemaking techniques to be used without compromise, and then passed on to current and future generations of Riesling winemakers.
The Castines grow Riesling on their old family farm on the Watervale–Mintaro Road, where they still dabble in some grazing and cropping.
The ‘Cricket Block’ was planted in the late nineties, and is next to their homestead which used to be an old school. It got its name as the vineyard is located on what used to be the school oval, complete with a cricket-pitch which is still there. In earlier years, this vineyard was planted to old distillation varieties and there was an old distillery on site. The fortified wines would be sold in barrels to the bullock carts carting copper from the Burra mines. It is unsure whether the port was destined for the ships, the mines, or if the bullock drivers would simply drink it all.
The vineyard is planted on an easterly facing slope with north-south rows using single cordon permanent-arm trellis and movable foliage wires for canopy management. Soil type is red earth over calcrete.
The ‘Shed Block’, planted two years later, is over the hill to the east of the homestead, next to their Hayshed (hence the name) and close to the town of Watervale. Here the rows run East to West, and the aspect is flat. The soil here is also red earth over calcrete, though the soil changes abruptly to light-brown earth over slate in their adjoining blocks to the North.
Watervale, South Australia
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