Trial Hill Vineyard, Pewsey Vale, Eden Valley

Our flagship Trial Hill Vineyard was part (Block 1968) of the original Pewsey Vale Station, the oldest cool climate vineyard of Australia, first planted in 1847 at the instigation of Joseph Gilbert. The actual planting was undertaken by Peter Wilson, the blacksmith and rouseabout of Pewsey Vale Station, who is thought to have lived where the Trial Hill residence currently stands - his diary on Guy Fawkes' Day (5th November) 1865 details his problems with the Breechens mechanism of his horse-drawn cart which resulted in their crashing into the creek - we use this diary entry on our Breechens label as a tribute to the pioneering spirit of Barossa's first settlers and the perils they overcame.

The 8 hectare contour-planted certified biodynamic Maverick Trial Hill Vineyard, located in the Pewsey Vale sub-region of Eden Valley, has been described by leading wine critic Andrew Caillard as "the most beautiful vineyard in Australia." Situated on the south-western edge of Eden Valley with an altitude of between 448 and 480 metres above sea level, the vineyard enjoys a commanding position with views across the Eden Valley to Kaiserstuhl, across the Barossa Valley over 100 metres below and towards the Gulf of St. Vincent. The vineyard provides an exciting array of individual "micro climates" or specific sites, and nestles below Pewsey Vale Peak which with its historic and distinctive flat-topped stone pine tree (known locally as the "monkeynut tree") marks the highest point in the Barossa. The growing season temperatures of Eden Valley sites at 500m are very close to those experienced in Burgundy and the Rhine Valley (Gladstones 1992).

While temperatures are similar the climate produces more sunshine hours, less summer rain and lower relative humidities. This unique combination means flavour profiles are more overt and disease issues are minimized. The lack of summer rainfall also means the vine canopy is always well balanced and on tough sites the vines are made to work hard. The later scenario is particularly suited to the shiraz grape that is well suited to dry tough conditions.

The Trial Hill vineyard is made up of many unique individual block sites of mature aged vines that have long been in balance.

Average rainfall is 600mm most of which is received in winter.

Maverick's Trial Hilll Vineyard was for years a source of grapes for Penfold's Grange. More recently, Steven Spurrier was one of the international wine figures presiding over a tasting in Shanghai of "Barossa's icons" - Henschke Hill of Grace, Torbreck Runrig and Maverick Trial Hill Eden Valley Shiraz. According to Steven, "Clearly Trial Hill has the potential to be one of the Barossa's top vineyard sites. Trial HIll wines are brilliantly evocative with the clarity and harmony expected from a Grand Cru vineyard."

  The Closest Vineyard to the Highest Point of the Barossa

  Trial Hill Riesling Vineyard

  Trial Hill Chardonnay Vineyard

  Trial Hill Shiraz Vineyard

  200-500 Year Old Gum Trees

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