The Advantages of Altitude With an altitude varying between 485 metres and 500 metres, Pewsey Vale sits 250 metres above the Barossa Valley floor. The cooler temperatures found at this height encourage a longer ripening period which extends well into autumn. This longer ripening period is essential for producing superior quality grapes with exceptional flavour and character - hallmarks of Pewsey Vale wines. Block to block variation enables winemakers to select from separate parcels of fruit to tailor wines to the Pewsey Vale style, ensuring consistency from vintage to vintage.
Pewsey Vale is not an easy vineyard to manage. Lean and hungry soils which limit the vigour of the vines, the high altitude and the vineyard's specific micro-climate have necessitated the adoption of specialised viticultural management. Yet, it is this unpredictable and demanding nature that is the very essence of the vineyard's special appeal. Ensuring a natural balance is of paramount importance and this is reflected in every aspect of the vineyard's management.
Soils at Pewsey Vale are shallow light sandy loams over light to medium clay. Riesling grows well in bony soils with some clay subsoil, as found throughout much of Eden Valley. At Pewsey Vale there are 25 hectares of Riesling planted, mainly on traditional single wire trellis. The low fertility of the soil keeps viogour and yield down and the canopy open, making it easier to deal with the susceptibility of Riesling to Botrytis as the fruit is well-exposed.
The planting material at Pewsey Vale is the Pewsey Vale Clone, which was planted in Eden Valley in the 1800's and can be traced back to some of the original vine cuttings brought into Australia by James Busby. Any new plantings at Pewsey Vale are propagated from the original vines.
Pewsey Vale Riesling flavour profiles range from fresh grapefruit and limes to lemons in cooler years, with hints of tropical fruit - mainly passionfruit tending towards pineapple. The palate is long and finishes crisp with high natural acidity. With bottle age, the flavours develop elegantly moving towards toast, orange blossom and honey, yet retaining the classic fresh citrus lift and palate weight that is the hallmark of Pewsey Vale Riesling.