MacMuir Vineyard - 5.1 Hectares
History and Location
MacMuir Vineyard is located just 1km east of The Elms Vineyard on Felton Road. It is a gentle north facing slope that lies immediately below the hills of the Bannockburn gold sluicings, now a historic park. MacMuir was originally part of the Calvert property and farmed by Felton Road since 2001. The land was being used to produce various crops of hay and straw for use in our compost, mulch and winter feed for animals, as well as a small productive nut orchard. In 2010 Felton Road purchased the land from the Calvert family and planting began in 2012 after an extensive period of preparing the soils to maximise organic diversity and complexity. Nigel Greening, Felton Road's owner, is the son of a Muir clan member: Betty Muir, hence the title MacMuir (son of a Muir). Bannockburn seems to have a historic connection to the clan with the eastern half of Bannockburn being known as the Cairnmuir Arm and a number of vineyards in Bannockburn already sporting the Muir name.
The gentle slopes at MacMuir are comprised of the Bannockburn soils classified as deep silt loams. The consistent north facing slope provides a very uniform soil profile. Only towards the northern boundary closer to the Kawarau River do alluvial gravels start making an appearance at depths of around 1.5m. 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 shallow coating of loess on the surface. Deep down (over 1.5-2m) there are fine sandy loams and bands of sands, silts and well-rounded quartz gravels with many dendritic accumulations of calcium carbonate. The soils are regarded as having reasonably high natural fertility with good water-holding capacity.
MacMuir features our first plantings of the recently released Dijon clones 828 and 943. All remaining vine material was selected from our own vineyards from preferred and monitored mother vines. It is therefore a somewhat 'massal' planting of Pinot Noir (from parent vines of UCD 5, Abel, AM10/5, B114, B115, B667, B777). Planting density is 4667 vines/ha with the rootstock 3309 used throughout. 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.
It is anticipated that quality will be very high after our experience of farming the adjoining Calvert Lodge Block for 12 years. However, the fruit from MacMuir will benefit significantly from the higher vine density and improved row orientation, clonal and vine material and rootstock. Once the vineyard has greater vine age and we have more experience in farming this site, and understanding the resulting wines we may consider a single vineyard MacMuir wine in the future.