image of tractor putting in grape vines

SOILS

The north-west aspect of the vineyard blocks provide good exposure to sunlight for ripening and air movement which helps to reduce yields and disease pressure. This gentle northwest slope also helps to avoid the risk of frost damage in the early spring.

The soils were identified by Dr Derek Milne as Wharekaka Silt Loams, which dry out with good drainage in the summer, supporting slow vine growth, allowing canes to lignify and fruit to ripen optimally. The soil profile consists of 20-25cm of silt loam followed by subsoils of mottled clay and clay loam. These soils are consistent with the description of Wharekaka Fine Mottled Sandy Loam, which characterises the rolling hills around Martinborough.

To ensure the soils in the vineyard have good drainage, the vine rows were all deep ripped to a depth of over 1 metre at the time of development.

Soil & petiole tests are undertaken annually to ensure plant health is optimised with applications of ground fertilisers in the early spring and liquid fertilisers which are applied via the irrigation system during the growing months.

map of southdown vineyard

southdown estate vineyard logo

VINEYARD