The Philosophy of Yarraine
Let nature take its course
We strive to grow our grapes and make our wine with a minimum of intervention in the natural processes. The simple ideas to which we adhere are to keep the vineyard clean - regular mowing keeps weeds and weed loving insect pests at low levels, and to keep interference in the wine making process to a reasonably low level. Yarraine is not an organic vineyard; this is not a practical goal for us, but we do strive to use a minimum of herbicides and fungicides, and those which we do use are of very low impact. Happily, we have never had to use any insecticides, so the “clean vineyard’ approach seems to work. In winemaking we try to use as low a level of preservative (sulphur dioxide, or “220”) as possible, but we do use some. Not to do so would put the finished wine at risk of spoilage.
All our red wines enjoy at least a year in oak barriques - some American, but thus far mostly French, or a combination of the two.
All work on the vines - pruning and picking - is performed by hand. All prunings are burned rather than being mulched, removing any potentially unhealthy material at the end of every season.
An irrigation system is installed throughout the vineyard, but is rarely used - only on the hottest days when the vines are under intense heat stress and there is no imminent prospect of relief from a cool change. The vines are old enough now that they can pretty much fend for themselves in terms of getting enough moisture. This policy of minimal irrigation leads to low fruit yield and hence higher intensities of berry colour, flavour, and sugar levels to which the 2005 vintage is a testimony.