At 550 metres above sea level, Heggies Vineyard is one of Australia's highest altitude vineyards and also one of the coolest.
The close-planted vines are grown in a thin layer of grey sandy loam over clay and decomposed rock. The vines compete vigorously for moisture and nutrient in this ‘lean’ soil, encouraging roots to dig deep where it is moist and cool throughout all seasons. The high altitude and year-round cooler climate of our Eden Valley vineyard also allows the leaf canopy on our vines to grow thicker and provide more shade for the fruit for longer. The grapes are then able to ripen slowly and develop the sublime flavours Heggies Vineyard wines are renowned for. Equal attention is given to the areas surrounding the vines and the actual vineyard itself. Replanting native vegetation to create conservation areas adjacent the vines has created a sanctuary for birds, insects, kangaroos and other wildlife, and ensures the sustainability of the natural environment.
Darrell Kruger has been tending vines in the Barossa and Eden Valleys for near on 40 years. He is passionate about growing grapes, fighting the elements and working with the land to produce the best possible fruit. He says that tailored vineyard management and the flexibility it affords are essential. "At times Heggies Vineyard is a challenging and unpredictable site, so we manage each micro-site or block within the vineyard individually." He adds, “Trellising and canopy structure is varied from vine to vine, as are pruning regimes and row spacings, depending on aspect and soil type within the vineyard. This allows the vines to develop their own character and personality.” You would think that Darrell would see enough vines at work, however he also has a small vineyard at home. Such is his passion for viticulture.
Peter Gambetta, winemaker.
Peter Gambetta has been making outstanding wines in the premium wine-growing regions of Coonawarra, the Barossa and Eden Valleys for the best part of 30 years. "I feel privileged to have been entrusted with the stewardship of Heggies Vineyard - one of the most prestigious single vineyards in Eden Valley, and possibly Australia,” says Peter. “Darrell Kruger and I work together ensuring we have the best fruit in Eden Valley. We take a minimum intervention approach to winemaking, working with the natural surroundings to capture the flavour and balance of the grapes in their purest essence. This ensures Heggies Vineyard wines are distinctive and true individuals,” adds Peter. His love of wine is matched only by his love of science and his passionate belief in success through experimentation and innovation.
On every Heggies Vineyard bottle is the image of a man sitting on top of his horse and surveying the land before him. The man’s name is Colin Heggie, a local grazier, who was the original owner of the picturesque Eden Valley property before he sold it to his old friend Wyndham Hill Smith.
Wyndham had an eye for great vineyard sites and he could see the potential for growing quality grapes on this magnificent sweep of country that had been grazing land for so long. Planting began in 1971 and the first Heggies Vineyard wine was released in 1979.
‘We take a minimum intervention approach to winemaking, working with the natural surroundings to capture the flavour and balance of the grapes in their purest essence.’ - Peter Gambetta
In the years that have passed, these low yielding vines have consistently produced grapes with sublime fruit definition and impeccable balance, which the Heggies Vineyard team nurtures into wines of extraordinary flavour and finesse. Today these wines sit with pride on dining tables in fine restaurants and homes everywhere.