Goona Warra Vineyard is located in the Geographic Indication of Sunbury in the Port Phillip Zone.
Goona Warra lies less than 20 kilometres from the sea in a natural amphitheatre near the foothills of the Macedon Ranges. The temperate climate is typically cool with warm summers and cool to cold winters. This permits leaving the fruit on vine much longer than in hot climates, thus imparting greater flavour and aroma.
Frost does not generally occur during the growing season, but wind can be a problem with strong winds across the Western Plains at flowering leading to reduced fruit set. Rainfall is sparse, averaging 604 mm.per year, and variability requires irrigation from re-cycled water from the local treatment plant.
The site slopes gently to the west with well-drained soils varying from volcanic to alluvial over clay with a scoria base. The black basalt clay particularly favours Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. We employ sustainable agricultural practices and endeavour to control vineyard pests and diseases by prevention through gentle intervention. We undertake microclimate manipulation and the use of minimal preventative sprays (primarily copper and sulphur which have been used since Roman times) to keep pest and disease populations under control at critical points of the season.
The vineyard was re-planted in 1983 at a close spacing of 1.3m in 2.0 m wide rows on a high trellis with a fruiting wire at 1.4m and a set of moveable foliage wires. The vineyard is spur pruned to an average of 15 buds per metre using a vertical shoot position (VSP) trellis. Leaf plucking, bunch thinning and hedging are undertaken as considered necessary to maintain the low yields (generally 4 tonnes to the acre, but as low as 2 tonnes to the acre for Pinot Noir) required for optimum fruit flavour. Budburst is in early September, with vintage occurring over the months of April and May.
The property covers approximately 7 hectares (17 acres) with the vineyard planted to the following varieties:
Semillon & Sauvignon Blanc.62 ha
Cabernet Franc.75 ha
Pinot Noir.75 ha
Roussanne & Viognier.15 ha
Shiraz (1 km distant)2.00 ha
We know that careful viticulture is the key to great wines so considerable effort is devoted to maximising grape quality in the vineyard.