The original stage 1 of Old Marandoo Estate was established by a joint venture (now called Managed Investment Scheme or MIS) of local South Australians in early 1995. Stage 1 was quickly followed by Stages 2 to 5. In 2007, each of the MIS was merged into one land owning company, MEL. Since 2010, both Old Marandoo and Old Belvidere have operated through this one vehicle
OLD MARANDOO ESTATE & OLD BELVIDERE ESTATE
The Shareholders have been aware of the long standing high quality reputation (although low profile) that Langhorne Creek has with premium red wines. You may be unaware that in years past many of the Barossa and McLaren Vale premium wines have had large amounts of Langhorne Creek fruit in them but it has never in the past been imperative to label them as such.
360 hectares of premium varietal vines have been planted at the original Marandoo vineyard since 1995. The varieties planted are primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot and Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Verdelho and Semillon varieties.
The original vineyards were planted from 2004 to 2006 to 3 red (Shiraz, Grenache & Merlot) and 2 white varieties (Chardonnay & Viognier). Since 2011, FABAL Operations, the manager of the property, has replanted (predominantly by grafting) approximately 20% of the vineyards. This continues today and on completion, the vineyard will be predominantly Shiraz with reasonable plantings of Merlot, Grenache and a small amount of Cabernet and Mataro.
The vineyard is developing a solid reputation for growing B (and A) grade super-premium red grapes for inclusion into some of the most famous Australian brands, including Jacobs Creek, Grant Burge, Hentley Farm and Langmeil.
OLD MARANDOO ESTATE
The old section of Marandoo Estate is located in the north eastern edge of the Langhorne Creek region approximately 8 km east from the heart of the Langhorne Creek township.
The 320ha property is located at Mosquito Creek & Marandoo Road, Langhorne Creek and is approximately 20m above sea level.
The vineyard is planted with a mix of 4 red varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sangiovese & Shiraz) and 5 white varieties (Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Verdelho & Viognier).
Some of the balance of the property is planted to Capers, Artichokes and Strawberries. Previously, these areas have been found by FABAL Operations not to be suitable to long term grape vine planting. Each of these plantings are in their trial phase and being assessed for long term viability.
The entire property has been developed to provide water security in difficult water periods. This is discussed in the Water Management section of this site. Each of these plantings require different water regimes, each of which are important to produce quality food and beverage products.
The original homestead is now operating as the Vineyard Road Cellar Door. This can be viewed at www.marandooestate.com.au or in ‘The Homestead’ section of this site.
OLD BELVIDERE ESTATE
The old section of the Belvidere Estate vineyard is located on the western edge of the Langhorne Creek region approximately 8 km west of Strathalbyn and 8km from the heart of the Langhorne Creek township.
The 83ha property is located at 697 Langhorne Creek Road, Belvidere and is approximately 40m above sea level.
The vineyard is planted with a mix of 2 red varieties (Shiraz & Merlot) and 3 white varieties (Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio & Riesling). Previously, there was Semillon and Viognier on the property.
The entire Estate, for Old Belvidere & New Belvidere has been developed to provide water security in difficult water periods. This is discussed in the Water Management section. Each of these businesses require different water regimes and each is catered for through the jointly owned Belvidere Unit Trust.
The original cabin is now operating as the Vineyard Road Cellar Door. This can be viewed at www.fabalwines.com.au
CLIMATE AND SOIL
The average rainfall of Langhorne Creek is approximately 420mm per annum. More importantly, the majority falls in the winter and spring (May to October) periods with lower likelihood of summer rain during the growing season. This results in reduced disease pressure from post rain events. There is low likelihood of hail but frost may affect the lower part of the site in some years. There is approximately 1,800 hours of sunshine from October to April of each (the heat degree index)
Soil nutrition is another important factor that can affect growth and FABAL Operations implemented (pre-planting) and maintains a regime for management of this risk. NVFA4L expends considerable resources to ensure that nutrient levels are monitored regularly.
Irrigation is discussed in the Water section of the site.
IMPORTANCE OF CABERNET SAUVIGNON
The most important varieties on the Marandoo Estate is Cabernet Sauvignon. Cabernet Sauvignon represents nearly 35% of the vineyard.
This variety is one of the world’s most widely recognised red grape varieties and is grown in nearly every major wine producing country. Cabernet Sauvignon became internationally recognised through its prominence in Bordeaux where it is often blended with Merlot. For most of the 20th century it was the world’s most widely planted premium red wine grape until it was surpassed by Merlot in the 1990s.
In Australia, Cabernet Sauvignon is the second most widely grown variety by area and in Langhorne Creek it is considered the premier variety produced from the region. Langhorne Creek is famous for its Cabernet production and has seen many awards received for this variety over the past 45 years. The most famous successes come from the Wolf Blass range of wines, particularly the Grey and Black Labels.
IMPORTANCE OF SHIRAZ
The equal most important variety on Marandoo Estate is Shiraz representing over 30% of the vineyard planted area. The most important variety on Belvidere Estate is Shiraz representing over 40% of the vineyard planted area.
The Shiraz variety comes from the Hermitage area of the Rhone Valley in France where it is known as Syrah. Its origin is uncertain – some suggest it was brought to France by hermits from Shiraz in Iran, others that the Roman legions brought it from Syracuse. In Australia, Shiraz is grown in all viticultural areas and is used in the production of all types of red wine.
Langhorne Creek is renowned for its Shiraz production and has seen many awards received for this variety over the past 45 years. One of the most famous successes come from the Wolf Blass range of blends of wines like Black Label.
IMPORTANCE OF MERLOT
Merlot, on both Old Belvidere and Old Marandoo, forms an important part of our supply to key customers. In Australia, it is a difficult variety to return value for.
Merlot is one of the French noble varieties from the famed Medoc area in the Bordeaux region and dates back to the late 18th century. It is reputed to be named after the blackbird (blue in colour) who liked feeding on the ripe grapes before they were harvested. It is made into a single varietal wine or blended as one of the five main grape varieties for the principal blends of Bordeaux red wines. It is reputed to have the 3rd largest planting by hectares in the world.