Cannibal Creek Vineyard sits at approximately 102m above sea level, with a northerly aspect. The vines run north-south at the mid-range of sloping ground. We have around 5 ha under vine within a 29 ha farming property in the Tynong Valley area of Victoria, long considered good farming country.
Cannibal Creek Vineyard is about an hour East of Melbourne, on the fringe of Gippsland in Victoria. We are nestled in a greenbelt valley of high rainfall and rich soil farming land, beyond the urban sprawl. Here, the air becomes fresher and the distinct granite range of Mount Cannibal looms into view.
For the precision minded, you will find us at S 38 – E145 with an elevation of 102m above sea level. With fourteen daylight hours in the growing season, this makes for an ideal cool climate vineyard.
Cannibal Creek Vineyard sits on an area of Devonian Granodiorite (Granite) and Granite Clays. Consequently, this give rise to a natural soil profile of sandy silt, overlying silty granite clays. The origin of these soils is Quartz. This granite is quarried in and around Tynong. It is the same stone used to build the Shrine of Rememberance in Melbourne.
Granite soils tend to be acidic; It has been shown in these types of soils that the grapes themselves can lack acid. This influences the approach to our viticulture and winemaking and the wines themselves. We believe our granite soils are responsible for the mineral and flinty characters in our wines, both reds and whites.
“The soil structure and biological activity in the vineyard was much improved … The difference in structure and moisture holding capacity was much improved. The biology showed the vineyard soils to be … discouraging the fast growing capeweed.” Dr Mary Cole Agpath
Since planting 20 years ago, our approach has always been one of low intervention. This is both in the Vineyard and in the Winery. Recently, we have had been closely monitoring soil biology and chemistry. Furthermore, we have been identifying nutrients and microbes that were low or lacking. We work to correct this through applying compost teas and fish emulsions to the soils. As a result, trace elements are applied through natural foliage sprays. This is in addition to general irrigation and drainage improvements throughout the vineyard. The results have been incredibly exciting. There has been noticeable improvements in the ground, on the vine and in the bottle.
“The Gippsland region sweeps along spectacular coastlines and through picturesque rolling hills and is home to several small, family-owned vineyards and wineries. The region, while not as well known as many other regions, has produced fine table wines as far back as the 19th century.” Wine Australia
Vines are tended to and picked by hand – sustainable soil nourishment. We believe that good wine (like good food) is mostly down to the growing. Importantly, we do very little once the grape leaves the vine, prefering traditional methods and french oak.
While vintages do vary, on average we see typical cool climate conditions. We see 14 daylight hours in the growing season, cool winters with heavy rainfall and some frost; Moreover, variably warm temperatures through spring and summer. Sandy clay loam soil makes for ideal natural conditions, not dissimilar to Burgundy in France. Granite and clay loams make for flinty mineral characters in the bottle.