We are obsessed with single vineyard Pinot Noir and that curiosity has taken us to relationships in the other most exciting new world options.
Nocton Vineyard, in Tasmania’s Coal River Valley, was planted in 1999 on gentle, North-East facing slopes of dolerite-based soils over a free-draining calcareous and Triassic sandstone subsoil.
Tasmania has a cool maritime climate and, positioned as it’s right in the path of the “roaring forties,” can offer up annual rainfalls that are measured in metres on the west of the island. However, contrary to popular myth (and the recent extreme events,) much of the eastern half of Tasmania has relatively moderate rainfall, especially in the South-East.
The Coal River Valley itself lies in a rain-shadow created by the Mount Wellington Range to the west. Here the rainfall pattern is often ideal, allowing for uninterrupted spring flowering and fruit set. At the other end of the season, the long, warm and dry autumn ripening days develop good colours and flavours while the cool nights help to retain Tasmania’s trademark acidity.
The vineyard is close-planted at only 1m between vines and 1.8m between rows, encouraging the vines to drive their roots more deeply into the soil in order to compete for water and nutrients.
Higher up and to the north, where the slope is a little steeper and the soils a little meaner, the pinot vines are of a type that yields small but perfectly formed bunches of intensely flavoured and beautifully structured grapes.
Location: Coal River Valley Aspect: North-East facing Size: 84 acres Planted: 1999 Soil type: Calcareous and Triassic sandstone