Home' Grower : August 2013 Contents 34 The South Australian Grower -- August 2013
Petaluma's new winery
makes 'small' variation
FOUNDED in 1976 by Brian
Croser, Petaluma's philoso-
phy for producing premium
wines has always been to select
the best viticultural sites within a
specific region suited to a chosen
The company is about to embark
on a new venture building a
multi-million dollar state-of-the-
art winery at Woodside in the
Adelaide Hills as the lease on its
current Piccadilly winery site nears
Winemaker and site manager
Mike Mudge is excited by the new
developments, with the winery
scheduled to be operational for
the 2015 vintage.
"For the Adelaide Hills it's a
massive investment as things have
struggled in the last five years,
so this shows great faith in the
industry," Mr Mudge said.
Wineries in the Adelaide Hills
are limited to a 2000-tonne
crush through Environmental
Protection Agency licensing
"While the new winery will still
have the same capacity, the great
thing about the new design is that
we'll have a multi-dimensional
tank variation that will cater for
small batches of premium whites,
sparkling and reds," he said.
"This current winery is 30 years
old and has operational challenges
even though we can still do small
batches. The variation of tank
capacity will give us the flexibility
to keep things really separate.
"We will have better processing
techniques upfront where we're
not macerating through a receiver
bin and so forth and also allow
a much more gentle process that
will affect the quality of the wine.
From a sustainability point of view
it has a more efficient refrigeration
plant plus we've got solar in."
The company's facilities are cur-
rently split between the leased
winery at Picadilly and a disgorg-
ing line at the Bridgewater Mill.
The fruit is also chilled off-site
before being processed during
vintage, but with the new facility
everything will be under the one
"Generally we do between
1200 tonnes and 1400t," he said.
"There are not many 1200t winer-
ies that have their own disgorging
and bottling. We will also be able
to cater for different packaging
innovations and gain efficien-
cies as Petaluma and Croser are
Petaluma's owned and leased
vineyards consist of 26 hectares
in the Clare Valley, 61ha in
Coonawarra, 54ha in the Adelaide
Hills and 31ha in the outer hills.
The Hanlin Hill vineyard,
planted in 1968 high on the north
eastern ridge of the Clare Valley
with an altitude of between 400
metres and 500m, is the source
of Petaluma's benchmark riesling.
Soils are red loams over slate
parent rock with the fruit ripening
late in the growing season
Petaluma's Piccadilly Valley
vineyards in the Adelaide Hills,
located at altitudes of up to 600m,
were chosen with the aim of devel-
oping a more refined cool-climate
chardonna. These vineyards
provide fruit for the Petaluma
and Bridgewater Mill chardonnays
and are a core component for the
chardonnay and pinot noir for the
Croser Sparkling range. Sauvignon
blanc is sourced from the Deanery
vineyard south east of Piccadilly.
Mount Barker is home to the
B&V vineyard, which was planted
in 1992 on the granitic-like mica-
ceous schist soils on the western
side of the Mt Barker summit.
The Evans Vineyard in
Coonawarra was purchased in
1978 from the late Australian
wine legend Len Evans.
Petaluma takes a natural
approach to vineyard manage-
ment, paying particular attention
to sustainable practices and
environmental impact by reduc-
ing sprays and controlling insects
without chemicals to maintain a
balanced natural diversity.
"We like to have total control
from canopy management to fruit
thinning and we minimise chemi-
cal usage by extensive monitoring
of the vineyards," he said.
"The Petaluma shiraz in Mt
Barker is 90 per cent on its way to
being certified organic.
"For most of the vines we use
vertical shoot positioning trellis
but the old cabernet vines at
Coonawarra have a split canopy
to get light and sun in to aid
"When it comes to pruning
we cane prune so we can get a
reasonably uniform crop -- with
spur pruning over time you get
inconsistencies -- so that allows
us to get the crop load where we
want it and have the option to
thin if required."
Petaluma winemaker Mike Mudge says the company's new winery will
cater for small-batch winemaking.
To build winery at Woodside
Better processing techniques
All work under the one roof
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