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 just beyond the urban sprawl, where 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, which 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 and is the same stone used to build the Shrine of Rememberance in Melbourne.
Granite soils tend to be acidic and 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.
Since planting 20 years ago, our approach has always been one of low intervention, both in the Vineyard and in the Winery. In recent years we have had been closely monitoring soil biology and chemistry and identifying nutrients and microbes that were low or lacking. We have been working to correct this through applying compost teas, and fish emulsions to the soils, and applying trace elements through natural foliage sprays, in addition to general irrigation and drainage improvements throughout the vineyard. The results have been incredibly exciting, with noticeable improvements in the ground, on the vine and in the bottle.
Vines tended and picked by hand, sustainable soil nourishment – we believe that good wine (like good food) is mostly down to the growing. We do very little once the grape leaves the vine, prefering traditional methods and french oak to do their thing.
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, variably warm temperatures through spring and summer. With sandy clay loam soil this makes for ideal natural conditions, not dissimilar to Burgundy in France. Granite and clay loams make for flinty mineral characters in the bottle.