Jock grew up on the family vineyard in Willunga, in South Australia’s
McLaren Vale wine region and is now the sixth generation of a family
grape growing and winemaking heritage. He has a Bachelor of Science
degree from the University of Adelaide and is responsible for the management
of the Alpha Crucis and Chalk Hill vineyards in McLaren Vale.
The Heritage Block Vineyard adjoins the Chalk Hill vineyard
in McLaren Vale, and sits on Blanche Point Limestone formed between
56 and 34 million years ago. The soil comprises washed sand over clay
which limits vine vigour and hence reduces the number of grapes on each
vine. The vines are on their own roots and trellised on a single cordon with
vertical shoot positioning to enable good sunlight and air penetration
in the vine canopy.
Below Average winter rainfalls of only 170mm were recorded at McLaren Vale.
The dry conditions did not adversely affect the fruit set in spring which showed
a healthy crop potential. Spring rainfall was also well down on the local average
with only 44mm falling, which ensured the berry size remained small and also
started to speed up the vintage. In December we had a cold start to summer,
followed by a cool and drizzly early January. The cooler condtions helped slow
vintage a touch and allowed flavour development to catch up in most of the
vineyards. Rain stopped in mid-January, with no recorded rainfall for 2 months
until the middle of March. Overall the vintage produced small crops of Shiraz
that were high in natural acidity which has given the wines a wonderful
brightness. The balance and vibrancy of the wines will ensure they will live for
many years to come.
ensured the berry size remained small. After the heat, the vintage relaxed into a
steady pace with warm weather prevailing with predominantly dry conditions.
Yields were down by 30% against average across McLaren Vale producing
grapes which were small in size, with deep, dark colours and rich concentrated
flavours. These flavours are evident throughout the 2014 Alpha Crucis