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The vineyard

The vineyard was set out with the production of premium fruit in mind and planted on a north-facing slope to allow for maximum sunlight interception. This is most important in cool regions as it results in even sunlight on both sides of the vine allowing for even ripening.

The uniform slope also provides good natural drainage in the wet seasons. The shallow soil helps to control vine growth, resulting in open vine canopies with good ventilation. The site is well sheltered from the cold southerly winds, which is important for protection of the vines during critical stages of ripening.

Row spacing (2.5 metres) and vine spacing (1.5 metres) optimize the interception of sunlight by the vines and allows a good ratio of fruit weight to leaf surface area. This promotes fruit with good flavour development and balanced sugar and acidity. The first planting was one clone each of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Subsequent plantings have resulted in 4 hectares of Pinot Noir and 3 hectares of Chardonnay and a multitude of clones.

Now, at more than 30 years of age, the Dexter vineyard is providing beautifully balanced fruit and a true representation of the site.