“There are five things that make great wine: Balance, structure, concentration, power and breeding.” from a personal communique from Len Evans, 1988.
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Dean’s one-hectare Monopole “Mother Vine” Shiraz vineyard was created with buds from one single vine accidentally planted in the middle of the Koch family’s 1853 “Old Garden” Mourvedre vineyard.
This vineyard has been nurtured by a man known for his optimism, passion, fastidiousness, coupled with a dash of obsessiveness. Dean balances a methodic scientific thought process, with intuitive thinking, while retaining an appreciation for the artistic beauty in nature.
Collecting winery roof rainwater, Dean initially uses this for cleaning, then later it is recycled back into the vineyard. Irrigation is also limited, ensuring the roots drive deeper into the soils.
Inheriting lots of noxious weeds, Dean and his team have diligently tended the vineyard. This includes hand-digging out weeds, and growing legumes to smother the remainder. Planting arid rye-grass between and under vines, sees mown clippings pushed back to form a light mulch. Then as the rye dries off in summer, it turns red and reflects infra-red light into the canopy assisting with phenol development of the ripening grapes.