Vineyards near Bordertown and Mundulla
The grapegrowing district in the Limestone Coast Wine Zone “Other” near Bordertown and Mundulla was established between the townships of Bordertown and Mundulla in the upper south east of South Australia. The area has long enjoyed a thriving agricultural industry including cropping, grazing, lucerne production for feed and seed, onions and potato production utilising the areas ideal climate and water availability. Grapegrowing began commercially in the area in 1989 when Penfolds developed the ‘Cuppacup’ vineyard to the west of Bordertown. Plantings gathered momentum during the early to mid 90’s to the current level of 1259.4ha of planted vineyard area producing 13,000 tonnes per annum. ‘Mundulla Vignerons Association’ was incorporated in early 2011 to formalise the grower representative body. Water is sourced from a large underground aquifer overlayed with natural wetlands and sinkhole formations in the limestone substrata.
The region produces dense highly structured red wines with generous dark berry, plums, spice, mint and earthy characters. The consistent quality fruit produced in the region is used widely in blends by larger companies such as Treasury Wine Estates, Australian Vintage, Orlando and Heartland.
The earliest vineyard near Bordertown and Mundulla is 60 hectares of Chardonnay planted in 1989. This area increased to 173 ha in 1990 with the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The most significant period of growth in vineyard area near Bordertown and Mundulla occurred between 1991 and 2000. More than 900 hectares of vines were established and included Shiraz, Petit Verdot, Mataro and Cabernet Franc. In 2010 the total vineyard area near Bordertown and Mundulla was 1,259 ha and now includes Pinot Gris and other minor varieties such as Lagrein and Dolcetto.
Vineyards near Penola
The vineyards of the Limestone Coast Wine Zone Other, near Penola are made up of what has historically been known as the Penola community not included in the Coonawarra region.
Vineyards are spread over an area approximately 40km (N/S) x 12km (E/W) along the western boundary of the Coonawarra region and are planted on a series of isolated island outcrops of terra rossa soil over the limestone sub-base that underlies the region.
The first Penola plantings occurred in 1985 at St Marys Vineyard which is the only winery and cellar door in this area of vineyards. During the 1990’s the majority of the vineyards planted were on land owned by families that had been associated with the Penola community for many years. Names that entered the wine grape growing industry near Penola are Skeer, Wyly, Skene, Castine, Mulligan, Carter, Gartner, McNeil, Martin, Tyrrell.
The growers and winemakers with vineyards planted near Penola are in an extraordinary situation that came out of the process of the application of Geographical Indications (GIs) for wine in the Penola/Coonawarra community. During the process, the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC) Geographical Indications Committee (GIC) created a Penola Wine Region GI. However, this was later aborted in response to conflicting uses of the ‘Penola’ name. As a result vineyards near Penola are currently included in the Limestone Coast Zone Other.
The oldest blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz near Penola were planted in 1989 and 1990. Most of the vineyards near Penola were planted during the 1990s when the varietal mix increased to include Chardonnay, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Sauvignon Blanc. Vineyard expansion in the region has been minor over the past decade.
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