The ridgemill estate vineyard is located at Severnlea in Queensland’s Premier Wine growing region of the Granite Belt. The orientation of the 21 acre property faces south on a gentle slope at an elevation of approximately 840m above sea level. The vineyard also is orientated north to south to make the most of the sun's rays to ripen the bunches slowly and evenly to produce distinctive, rich an... Read more
The ridgemill estate vineyard is located at Severnlea in Queensland’s Premier Wine growing region of the Granite Belt. The orientation of the 21 acre property faces south on a gentle slope at an elevation of approximately 840m above sea level. The vineyard also is orientated north to south to make the most of the sun's rays to ripen the bunches slowly and evenly to produce distinctive, rich and flavoursome wines from the cool climate region of the granite belt. Climate The climate at Severnlea plays an important role in producing grapes of a very high quality. Situated on the western side of the New England highway, ridgemill is in a rain shadow area. This means that to the north, south and east tend to receive high rainfall, through the ripening period thus reducing disease risks and increasing the chance of a slower more even ripening period from January to April. Winter Through winter Severnlea receives very cold conditions. In the dry years the temperature drops to -11 to -15 degress Celsius. In the wet years the winter temperatures range between 1 and 8 degrees. These conditions are part of the reason that the Granite Belt (Severnlea) is the premium wine region. Spring September to December is an important and risky time in the vineyard the vines new shoots are starting to burst through the protective cocoon and are still tender. The Granite Belt is well known for having the occasional frost into December, putting at risk the first growth of the vintage. It is also when we get our first spring rain encouraging the vines to grow. With pools of warm air and cold fronts and storms coming in from the west south west it is also a dangerous combination, sometimes producing damaging hail that can destroy a vintage in a matter of minutes. Summer From December to April the temperatures during this period of ripening is also a very important time. In general Severnlea has a warm to hot ripening period with cool nights and relativity low humidity. The days temperatures are around 35 degrees and the nights are around 17 degrees, this ratio between day and night temperatures is important for the ripening period. The warm days help to increase the sugar levels and the cooling effect of the night time temperatures help to develop the flavours and even ripening. The cool nights are also ideal at harvest time as the grapes are picked and processed while cool. This low temperature reduces the phenolic characters in white wines. Starting fermentation with cool must also reduces the cost of cooling. Terrior The terrior is made up by geology, climate, topography, water holding ability and amount of sunshine received. We believe that these factors at our vineyard combine to produce premium end fruit that is made into our award winning wines. The Granite Belt is set top of a range, hilly and sometimes mountainous. This creates varied soil depths on the edge of the hills to soils that are rocky and shallow with coarse granite sandy/clay. In the valleys the soils are deeper with fine granitic sandy soils with the clay layer deeper while on the creek flats, which are few and far between, the soil is much deeper and finer more alluvial. As the name Granite Belt suggests our region is predominately made of granitic sandy soil with a clay layer at depth. The soil at Severnlea is fairly typical of the soil profile of the Granite belt. The soil type is important at this altitude because at altitude we have low sunlight levels, but with the reflective granite sandy soils the light is reflected back thus increasing sunlight exposure to the ripening grapes. This soil type is generally poor in nutrients and are on the acid side on the pH scale. While this can be seen as a disadvantage for most crops at ridgemill estate we believe that it is a positive. The nature of the grape vine in conjunction with rootstocks are efficient uses of nutrients and thus providing high vigour and in some cases uncontrollable vines, affecting the quality of the fruit. The poor soils of the granite belt allows the viticulturist to add nutrients as required, keeping the vines in balance and producing quality fruit. Grape Varieties Eight varieties make up the ridgemill estate vineyard these include Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz Merlot Tempranillo Saperavi Lagrien Chardonnay Viognier. The first vines were planted on the property in 1998 (Cabernet, Shiraz, Chardonnay and merlot), then in 2000 1 acre of Tempranillo was planted, and in 2005 another 1.5 acres were planted to Saperavi, Lagrien and Viognier. Read less
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Food Pairings for Ridgemill Estate Verdelho Granite Belt Ella
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