MacMuir Vineyard - 5.1 Hectares

History and Location

MacMuir Vineyard is located just one km 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 optimise soil structure and fertility. 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.

Soil

The soils at MacMuir are comprised of the Bannockburn series 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 strong coating of fertile 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.

Planting

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.

Vineyard Characteristics

With the high density planting, diverse range of clones and vine material and heavy silt soils, MacMuir offers a range of complex fruit characters. The low lying vineyard (elevation 216-224 metres) is relatively sheltered and warm with excellent ripening potential. The even soil distribution minimizes variation within and across blocks ensuring consistency of fruit quality and character. The wines show excellent texture and mouthfeel with floral aromatics and ripe dark fruits. The tannins are fine and focused with a distinct minerality in a similar fashion to Calvert: not surprising considering they share the same soil type and their close proximity.