Our Soil Impresses the Best
In my 28 years of growing grapes and making wine, this was probably the most interesting, informative and fascinating day I’ve experienced to date.
Our founder, Michael Wright, believed deeply in the importance of the soil when it comes to growing great wine and many a trench was dug prior to planting Voyager Estate as part of deciding the best sites for each variety. Now here we were, digging deep trenches beside the growing vines in our Old Block & North Block Cabernet Sauvignons and Broadvale Block 6 Chardonnay, with renowned French soil scientist, Claude Bourguignon. Fingers crossed he would agree with our planting decisions 40 odd years on!
Well, Claude was very impressed. Our Old Block Cabernet, which we have farmed organically for many years (although not certified), showed an open, friable couscous-textured soil structure, as well an extensive and deep root system. Claude confirmed that it was an outstanding soil for Cabernet Sauvignon and proceeded to point out the strong roots penetrating vertically into the clay, which so important for the vines to truly express their site (terroir).
Claude commented how he could taste the clay and its influence in all of our wines when we tasted the individual block wines later that afternoon.
Claude was very impressed with the soils in Margare River and particularly the soils at Voyager Estate. I’m positive this is largely due to our focus on utilising organic methods, choosing natural over synthetic products and minimal herbicide usage, over many years. His understanding and deep knowledge of the synergies between the composition, structure, and biology of the soil and its impact on the growing of great wine, was astounding. To be given the opportunity to focus this wealth of knowledge - and in such depth - to the vineyards at Voyager Estate, was one of the greatest learning opportunities that I have yet experienced.
~ Steve James, Manager Winemaking & Viticulture