Welcome to Whisson Lake terroir
In 1985, we took a grand departure from Australian tradition and joined the first wave of Pinot Noir viticulture in the high country of the Adelaide Hills.
After a lot of looking, we settled on the extreme slope of Mount Carey within the Piccadilly Valley.
A vertigo-inducing 15-acre hillside that rises more than 615m above sea level and home to South Australia's highest elevated commercial vineyard.
As our vines age and we learn to be ever more sensitive with our winemaking, we’ve discovered entirely different wines can appear in barrel from different parts of the vineyard. That’s because, planted in the right place, Pinot Noir is something of a magnifying glass, boosting subtle terroir differences.
We now divide our vineyard into a series of carefully selected single sections, sometimes little more than a few rows. From these sections, we produce entirely distinct Pinot Noir wines – at least four so far, with more likely to come.
Warm north-east-facing slope, lower altitude (525-560m), richer soil. Pinot Noir from here gives wines with softer structure – less acid and rounder tannin – and intense ripe fruit aromatics.
High altitude (560-605m), exceptionally well drained and exposed to the best of the morning and early afternoon sunlight. Pinot Noir from this part of the vineyard has fine but definite structure and pure uplifted fruit.
High altitude (up to 610m) with a significant degree of easterly orientation in the slope. Very low yields from unirrigated 25-year-old Pinot Noir vines giving wine of concentration, structure, and the ability to age for 15+ years. It is fruit from these areas of the vineyard that are the power house and inimitable signature of Whisson Lake Pinot Noir.
Middle range altitude (540-565m) and easterly exposition but sheltered by trees to south. Old, very low-yielding, unirrigated vines with exotic ripening potential. Fruit from these areas of the vineyard are the powerhouse and inimitable signature of Whisson Lake's Pinot Noir.