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Calvert Vineyard - 5.9 Hectares

History and Location

Calvert Vineyard is located just 1.5 km east of the Elms Vineyard on Felton Road. The gentle north-east facing slope lies immediately below the hills of the Bannockburn Gold Sluicings, now a historic park. The tailraces of Bailey’s and Pipeclay Gullys’, that carried away massive amounts of sluiced gold workings, flank the vineyard to the west and east respectively and provide helpful cold air drainage to minimise frost risk. The vineyard land had been home to a few sheep, rabbits and briar bushes prior to the planting of vines in 2001. Felton Road started leasing the entire Calvert Vineyard in 2001 (10.2ha) and in 2013 purchased outright the Willows, Springs and Aurum Blocks totalling 4.6 ha of Pinot Noir. In 2020, the Pipeclay Creek block was planted to 0.2 ha of Pinot Noir and 1.1 ha of Chardonnay.


The vineyard is comprised entirely of the Bannockburn soil series classified as “deep silt loams.” The soils are consistent across and down the slope except a heavier; more silt laden component appearing in the south-eastern corner (Willows Block). The soil is derived from a mixture of fine textured lake-bed sediments (tertiary clays) and quartz sands along with quartz and fine schist gravels. There is a shallow 20-25cm coating of loess on the surface. Deep down (over 1-2m) there are fine sandy loams and bands of sands, silts and rounded quartz gravels with many dendritic accumulations of calcium carbonate. The soils of the Pipeclay Creek block feature little topsoil and deep gravels, and better suited to Chardonnay. The silt soils are regarded as having reasonably high natural fertility with good water-holding capacity. Despite their dense texture, there are no impenetrable layers.


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 four different rootstocks (3309, 101.14, Riparia Gloire and 5C). In 2020, 0.2 ha of Pinot Noir (Abel clone) and 1.1 ha of Chardonnay (clones Mendoza and 548) were planted on rootstock 3309 at a density of 4242-4667 vines/ha. Standard VSP canopy management is employed using a cane pruned double Guyot. The viticulture is 100% organic and biodynamic and is fully certified by BioGro and Demeter.

Vineyard Characteristics

With its low elevation (215-228 metres) and even soil distribution the grapes ripen early and very consistently at Calvert Vineyard. Normally, harvest begins earlier than The Elms Vineyard (just 1.5km west) due to its lower elevation, more sunshine (less shading from the western hills), Dijon clones and range of rootstocks. Crop loads are more naturally moderated due to the compact silt soils resulting in smaller berry and bunch size. The wines normally exhibit a firm texture and expansive mouthfeel with floral aromatics and ripe dark fruits. The tannins are fine and focused with a distinct minerality.