We have four main vineyard sites spread throughout the Clare Valley which range in altitude from 300 to 450 metres. The winery site in Sevenhill is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon and is home to the McNicol Shiraz and McNicol Riesling vineyards. We have two sites in the famous Watervale region, named Alcatraz and Growers. These are mostly Riesling vineyards, with vine age upwards of 50 years. And Lastly in the hills of Auburn, our newest vineyard, which was planted in the mid 90's.
We believe that to make great wine you need great vineyards, so we spend a lot of time getting these just right. Around 10 or so years ago we converted our vineyard farming practices back to those that our grandfather, Peter McNicol Mitchell, employed. We had noticed a gradual decline in the soil health, so we stopped using artificial herbicides and pesticides. We wanted to get away from the monoculture our vineyards had become and began to promote biodiversity, where once we had bare dead earth we now have lush soils full or worms and other creepy crawlies, we have clovers growing through the mid rows, wasps and bees flying around.
Angus Mitchell, Vineyard Manager.