Vickery Wines

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Kym and Rose Castine

Kym and Rose Castine – Watervale

The Castines grow Riesling on their old family farm on the Watervale–Mintaro Road, where they still dabble in some grazing and cropping.

The 'Cricket Block' was planted in the late nineties, and is next to their homestead which used to be an old school. It got its name as the vineyard is located on what used to be the school oval, complete with a cricket-pitch which is still there. In earlier years, this vineyard was planted to old distillation varieties and there was an old distillery on site. The fortified wines would be sold in barrels to the bullock carts carting copper from the Burra mines. It is unsure whether the port was destined for the ships, the mines, or if the bullock drivers would simply drink it all.

The vineyard is planted on an easterly facing slope with north-south rows using single cordon permanent-arm trellis and movable foliage wires for canopy management. Soil type is red earth over calcrete.

The 'Shed Block’, planted two years later, is over the hill to the east of the homestead, next to their Hayshed (hence the name) and close to the town of Watervale. Here the rows run East to West, and the aspect is flat. The soil here is also red earth over calcrete, though the soil changes abruptly to light-brown earth over slate in their adjoining blocks to the North.

Kym and Rose Castine – Watervale

Paddy and Maxine Brazel - Watervale

The Brazels are previously from Lyndhurst in the remote North East of South Australia, where they owned the general store and a few trucks. One day whilst driving to Adelaide they came across the Rosenberg Winery on the southern edge of the Watervale township. It was one of the first Clare wineries, built in the 1840’s in beautiful old stone, still complete with original slate fermenters and still running as a cellar door sales outlet. This prompted a sea-change, with Paddy claiming he came with both a big cheque book and lots of enthusiasm, but has now lost both! You can see the amazing amount of time and effort they have put into restoring the crumbling building and converting it into a home.

The whole property is about sixty acres, with thirty planted to vines, and ten of that old vine Riesling planted before the Second World War. Water is a very tight commodity, so the whole property is dry grown. The rows are North–South, single wire, and the aspect is easterly. Yields are consequently very low, at no more than one to two tonnes per acre. Paddy is a laconic character with dry-as-a-chip humour, in the real bushie sense; perfectly suited to the fickle nature of grape growing.

Brazel Vineyard

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John Vickery and Paddy Brazel
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Anthony and Chris Koerner

Anthony and Chris Koerner – Watervale

Anthony and Chris Koerner ignited their passion for the wine industry in the 1970's after working at Stanley Wines under the leadership of Mr Mick Knappstein. Anthony continued his vineyard career during the 80’s and early 90’s managing the Penfolds Clare Estate Vineyard, it was during this time they purchased their first vineyard, a 10 acre property in the Clare Valley which they planted to Riesling and Chenin Blanc.

In 1987 Anthony and Chris became the custodians of Sec 787 Hundred of Upper Wakefield, “Gullyview”. This land was part of Australian Government’s Soldier Settlement Scheme after WW1. The vineyards are a mix of red and white varieties with the focus on premium Watervale Riesling. Ninety percent of the soils are 'terra rossa' red clay loams over limestone, ideal for the typical Watervale flavours.

The Vickery Block, "G6", planted in 2001 has an altitude of over 400 metres, terra rossa soil and an East/West orientation, which is ideal for premium Riesling, shading the fruit during our hot summers. Anthony has previously worked with John Vickery during his Penfolds days and Gullyview produced Riesling for John when he was chief winemaker at Leo Buring and Richmond Grove.

When Anthony and Chris are not home on the vineyard they enjoy spending time at their shack, "Grape Escape", on the River Murray, doing water sports and relaxing with family and friends.

Koerner Vineyard