Calvert Vineyard - 4.6 Hectares
History & Location
Calvert Vineyard is located just 1km east of the Elms Vineyard on Felton Road. The gentle north facing slopes lie immediately below the hills of the Bannockburn gold sluicings, now a historic park. Bailley's Gully tailrace that carried away massive amounts of sluiced gold workings divides the property and provides excellent cold air drainage to minimise frost risk. The vineyard land had been home to a few sheep, rabbits and briar bushes until planting of vines began in 1999. Felton Road started leasing the entire vineyard in 2001 (10.2ha) and in 2013 purchased outright the Willows, Springs and Aurum blocks totalling 4.6 ha of Pinot Noir.
The gentle slopes at Calvert Vineyard are all comprised of the Bannockburn soils "deep silt loams." The very even and north facing slopes mean these soils are very consistent across the blocks. This makes vine management considerably easier without having variation within individual blocks. The soil is derived from a mixture of fine textured lake-bed sediments (tertiary clays) and quartz sands along with quartz and schist gravels. There is a very shallow coating of loess on the surface. Deep down (over 1m) there are fine sandy loams and bands of sands, silts and quartz gravels with many dendritic accumulations of calcium carbonate. The soils are regarded as having reasonably high natural fertility with good water-holding capacity.
Felton Road designed and planted the Aurum, Willows and Springs blocks in 2001 to three clones of Pinot Noir (B667, B777, B115). Planting density is 3500 vines/ha with three different rootstocks (3309, 101.14, Riparia Gloire). Standard VSP canopy management is employed using a cane pruned double Guyot. The viticulture is 100% organic and biodynamic and is fully certified by Demeter.
With its gentle north facing slopes and even soil distribution, the grapes ripen very consistently at Calvert Vineyard. Normally Calvert Vineyard ripens earlier than The Elms due to its lower elevation, more sunshine (less shading from the western hills) and range of rootstocks. The wines have excellent texture and mouthfeel with subtle aromatics and ripe dark fruits. The tannins are fine and focused with a distinct minerality.