The problem lay in a few 40-year-old Houghton Cabernet clone vines which, a source of grapes for our iconic Abercrombie Cabernet Sauvignon, were restricting tractors from moving through the vineyard. There might have been just enough room to squeeze a horse and cart through the area, but our modern technology simply could not keep up.
We couldn’t bear to see the exceptional vines go to waste, so our team devised a plan that would move them safely. As one of the first ever vineyards to grow the Houghton cabernet clone in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, it was essential that we preserve the vines – and our trailblazing history.
Along with the vineyard teams in the Great Southern and Margaret River winery Tristan and Dave worked on the move, transporting the vines to their new location last Wednesday night. Of course, as lovers of the great outdoors, our boys had fun in the mud, but the exercise was more important than this. For the sake of the vines and our viticulture, the move was essential.
We needed to consider the vines’ needs before uprooting them as any mistake might have ended badly. After some careful planning, Tristan and Dave settled the vines into their new location. And it was a success, too. The vines are now happily located alongside to The Wine Chapel, at our Margaret River Winery.
The Margaret River region’s soil is famous for its fertile gravelly loam, typical of temperate climates with warm days and cool nights. The area produces some of the most exceptional flavours; Northern Margaret River is known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, while the Southern areas boast the more delicate Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Relocating eight vines to their new home in front of the Wine Chapel took some work, but we couldn’t be happier with their new location. Not only does it free up space for our tractors to pass through, but it means part of our heritage is now on display for all to see in Margaret River. With any luck, we’ll be drinking full-bodied cabernet from 40-year-old vines in Margaret River sometime soon.
The shift comes accompanied with a plaque, which tells visitors about the exceptional grape variety.