In the heart of the McLaren Vale wine region and overlooking the township of McLaren Vale, the Chalk Hill vineyard has stunning panoramic views across grapevines to the coast. It was established in 1969 with Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon and more recently plantings of Sangiovese and Barbera have been added.The Harvey family grape growing heritage goes back six generations in South Australia, they now have six vineyards spread across the beautiful McLaren Vale wine region. The first family vineyard was planted in 1897 and these century old vines still bear fruit today. It is the family commitment to make wines that reveal the unique place that is McLaren Vale, and to exhibit their efforts from the vineyard to the bottle. Wine is more than just a drink, it is a reflection of place and life.
The grapes in Chalk Hill wines are primarily sourced from six family-owned vineyards in the McLaren Vale district, 40 kilometres south of Adelaide in South Australia. McLaren Vale's Mediterranean type climate of cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers provides perfect growing conditions for premium grapes. Each Vineyard has a different soil type and topography, providing unique growing environments for the grapes. We take these unique factors and combine them with expert viticultural management to produce grapes of distinct character and appeal that make Chalk Hill wines so sought after.
The home vineyard, Slate Creek lies on the northern edge of the Willunga township and is the most southern of the six vineyards. The vineyard dates back to 1897, when the first Grenache grapes were planted - they still produce fruit today. Willunga sits at the base of the Sellicks Hill Range and during summer, early evening breezes blow cool air through the vineyard, helping stop mildews taking hold.
At the northern gateway to McLaren Vale lies the Gateway vineyard, the first vineyard you see upon entering the district. Shallow red tertiary and stone soil sits on a limestone cap, similar to the famous Terra Rossa soils of the Coonawarra. These shallow soils combine with constant wind to provide a natural constraint on the vigour of the Shiraz vines, producing intensely purple grapes with silky tannins and strong berry flavours.
Wits' End vineyard straddles the plain between the McLaren Vale and Willunga townships and sits next to Penny's Hill winery. It is planted with Shiraz and Chardonnay grapes and has a winter flowing creek that over the millennia has deposited shale giving two distinct soil types.
The Wright's property is the most recent addition to Chalk Hill vineyards and potentially the most outstanding of them all. The vineyard was acquired from the Wright family and is now partly planted with experimental clones of Barbera, heirloom Shiraz clones and the grape variety mistakenly identified as Albarińo. Around two-thirds of the vineyard is yet to be planted, further investigations are under way into the suitability of emerging varieties such as Touriga Nacionale, Arinto and Nebbiolo. Chalk Hill have also fenced off some large tracks of land that will form another site for habitat restoration with local native trees and plants. Premium estate selection wines occur when the team identify an exceptional parcel. It may be a single vineyard or only one barrel, but these wines are outstanding examples in great vintages and do not achieve their selection lightly.
Chalk Hill's cellar selection wines are grown estate vineyards, the wines must be both fantastic examples of their variety, but also represent great value for money. The cellar selection range remains faithful to the time honoured methods that celebrate the integrity of the grape. Each step of the winemaking journey has been carefully considered to highlight true varietal character. These wines are a worthy choice for any occasion. They are robust and ready to drink now, and the reds will comfortably cellar for another decade.