About Watunga Road Vineyard
In the Koonunga region of the Barossa Valley of South Australia - 90km west of the St. Vincent Gulf that connects into the Antarctic Ocean, and sitting at the very northern end of the valley floor - we find our Watunga Road vineyard, with its iconic red-brown earth with loam over clay subsoil. Watunga is an ancient name of the Traditional Custodians of Kaurna country, the Aboriginal people of the Adelaide Plains who nurtured and respected the land for 50,000 years, well before we acquired this magnificent site in 2014.
The 200 million-year-old soils of the Barossa are among the most ancient on Earth, which makes the valley one of the oldest landscapes where wine is produced in the world; it is also the birthplace of the great Australian Shiraz.
Our estate story is one of resilience, having overcome flooding, a vine pull scheme, climate change, heat waves, frost and soil challenges. Its situation in the northern valley floor of the Barossa makes it as unforgiving as can be. Drip irrigation was installed in 2015 to ensure against drought in this warm, arid zone and to improve general soil health. However, water is used sparingly and strictly according to seasonal need, given the availability of this precious resource. We have also implemented strict biosecurity measures on site, as we do across our other vineyards, to ensure it remains unaffected by phylloxera.
Watunga's twelve hectares began a journey as a high-quality vineyard in the early ’70s with the plantings of several blocks of Barossa Old Vine bush Grenache and Shiraz on their own roots. Half a century later, these handtended, organically cultivated, and low-yielding bush vines have produced exceptional fruit. The site features two more blocks that have been trellised and enhanced with modern and innovative soil improvement techniques like microbial inoculation and probiotics.
Upon acquisition, our viticulture team began a program of hand propagation by adopting the unconventional and ancient technique of layering, which allows the vine to maintain the existing old vine root system and ensures Watunga Road vineyard continues to produce high-quality grapes for premium wine production for many vintages to come.