We see ourselves as not only stewards of the vines, but more broadly, stewards of the ecosystem to which these vines now belong. The vineyard and surrounding ecosystem are home to a huge number of other residents; the native indigo we have planted at the vine row ends, the purple kale we have sown throughout the vineyard, the spear grass that grows wild, cunningham skinks, the magpies who enchant us with their calls day in day out and know us well, the koalas who have only recently returned, and so much more. We are looking after these things as well as our vines.
Our home, the Bella Luna Vineyard and our winery are nestled in the rolling hills of the locality of O’Connell. We look out over the O’Connell Valley to the north east and further towards the Winburndale Nature Reserve, Mt Ovens and Mt Horrible. From this patch of dirt, we have been tending to two acres of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot since 1997. Recent plantings of Tempranillo, Grenache, Shiraz, Viognier, and Chardonnay were added to the mix in 2020.
The site faces north – north east and sits at 780m altitude upon two distinctly different granite-derived soil types.
The first soil profile makes up the western end of the vineyard. It is the product of years of sedimentation and weathering from wind and water depositing a top layer of grey siliceous, sandy loam down to a depth of around 50 centimetres, sitting over the top of a light brown clay loam.
The eastern soil profile is of a much heavier red clay, starting at a depth of about 15 centimetres, with fragments of beautiful pink granite bedrock scattered throughout.
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