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J&J Vineyards, Australia – Troy McKinna

July 11, 2012

(J&J being my Grandparents initials) Jeff and Joan settled on a small 5.5ha property in McLaren Vale some years ago. In my time I have seen this land used for broad-acre purposes, an ostrich farm and, finally, in 1998 the birth of the J&J Shiraz vineyard. Helping out in establishing the vineyard to earn pocket money for my first car, I soon grew an interest in and passion for viticulture and the land on which it stands.

A shallow layer of sandy red clay over solid limestone and light to moderate rainfall through the growing season help us to manage canopy size and fruit quality, through pruning and the ability to restrict the vines access to water.  This along with a strong belief in sustainable practices saw us change our traditional methods to organic grape and wine production in 2008.

Caring for the land and the environment around us, we installed soil moisture probes in 2006 to help preserve the water table on which we, and so many around us, rely. Within 2 years our water consumption was halved and by using the information gathered by the logger we have gained a better understanding of the soil and achieved improved grape quality.

Since the conversion to organic we have never looked back – having reduced vineyard passes and compaction, increased soil health, eliminated the use of harmful chemicals and undoubtedly improved our wines, which are much more vibrant in both colour and flavour.

The 2011 growing season saw mild temperatures and well above average rainfall leaving us nervously anticipating disease pressure. However, while other vineyards lost their crops to downy and botyritis, our vines stayed clean and the resulting wines are looking good.  The only conclusion we can draw from this is the improved health of the vines, which seems to have found its natural balance through minimal intervention.

It’s such a rewarding industry to be involved in especially when I get to follow our single vineyard site from grape to the bottle and sold. Year to year I am constantly learning and evolving with the weather and market environments. I don’t get out of bed for the money, but rather to face the next challenge and share my passion for our products and for a sustainable future.

website: www.jjvineyards.com.au

 

 

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