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.
Good winter rains were followed by a drier than average spring meaning
fruit set was down slightly against average. Some early and high heat hit in
early January which caused all the vines to shut down for a week. This also
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