The site for Spence Wines was selected after a 3 year search around Geelong. The choice of site was critical, as the potential quality of all wine is determined by the quality of fruit grown in the Vineyard. The French term "terroir" is :- " the natural environment of any viticultural site". The various influences such as climate, soil, elevation shape the wine.
Some of the characteristics of our site are :
1. Low to moderate vigour soils. This ensures the vines do not produce high yields or excessive canopy growth.
2. North to North East facing slopes which helps the vines get a little more sunlight and hence develop more flavour.
3. The vineyard is in a valley which mean cool air settles here during the night. These cool nights, ensure the grapes ripen more slowly and because they spend more time on the vine they develop more flavour. It also results in a better balance between grape acid and flavour.
4. Strong winds occur for much of the year, which reduces disease pressure and helps control yields.
5. Red sandy loam topsoil, ironstone gravel layer over a mix of red clay and limestone subsoils.
Practices in the Vineyard
- Sustainable practices have always been used in the vineyards
- We cultivate the undervine area to avoid the need for herbicides.
- Only Organically acceptable sprays are used on our vines. No synthetic fungicides or insecticides.
- In 2008 we started using complete Biodynamic practices to improve soil and plant health. Biodynamic certification will occur in the future.
- All fruit is hand picked, ensuring only the best possible fruit arrives in perfect condition. All vines are pruned by hand.
- Yields are closely monitored and all varieties are thinned to achieve target yields and improve intensity of flavour. Target yields vary between 1-2 tonne/ acre, depending on variety.
- Sheep graze the vineyard over winter and Geese help weed the grapes during most of the growing season.
- Compost, compost extract, Fish hydrolysate and liquid kelp are used as fertilisers.
Location: Latitude -38° 6' 34.20", Longitude+144° 9' 55.08"
Elevation : 66 to 87 m above sea level.
Average Rainfall: 520mm