Our Mount Barker vineyards consist of the original Forest Hill vineyards as well as younger plantings on the Forest Hill and Highbury Fields properties. Vines have only been planted on the very best soils on the property, generally being gravel loams characterised by the Jarrah and Marri (Redgum) trees which grow on them. The sites chosen differ depending on variety, however are all well drained with an underlying clay base. The clay base and its depth are crucial when not using any irrigation.
The Mount Barker vineyard typically experiences Warm, dry summers with cool, wet winters. Influenced by both the Southern and Indian Oceans, Mount Barker has warm days but cools down overnight, allowing for slow extended growing and ripening season. We believe this extended ripening period is a major contributor to not only elegant and varietal fruit but also a ripe tannin structure.
Our old vines which include the original plantings in 1965, are very special to Forest Hill and are treated with a great deal of respect. The nature of old vines necessitates special treatment in viticultural management ensuring hand harvesting and pruning. These gnarly old vines are deep rooted and characterised by lower vigour and yields with smaller berries and intense flavours.
We manage the vineyard to ensure soil health, with minimal inputs and sustainable practices. This includes grazing stock and composting of grape material post fermentation.