It’s no accident that Flinders Run Wines is based where it is. Emanuel knew he wanted to make bright, fruit-rich, complex wines, and for that he needed good sunlight, reliable access to water, and fertile soil.
Here, on soils born of an ancient flood plain, our vines thrive amid the abundance of nutrients and minerals, our roots have steady access to the Baroota aquifer, and our fruit can ripen during generous doses of sunshine before resting in the cooling sea breezes every evening.
This is what terroir is all about. Through our wines, you can drink deeply to discern our sense of place, here on the edge of the Australian outback.
Emanuel and Laura’s vision is to continue working with neighbouring producers so we can
share with you the fruits and beauty of the Southern Flinders Ranges wine region.
Southern Flinders Ranges
There’s a reason Flinders Run confidently proclaims its natural pedigree. Before any land was even purchased, Emanuel travelled to numerous vineyard sites around South Australia, and did the hard yards, walking many, many paddocks. His observations from on-site inspections were then complemented by soil profiles, historical weather data, and the identification of frost-free zones (a major cost and vine threat faced by many vineyards). And then there was the overriding decision; water supply. Emanuel examined the availability of a sustainable source of water as the ultimate decision factor.
Despite the rugged, “outback” features above ground, Emanuel was enthused by the discovery that the Southern Flinders Ranges sits on an ancient aquifer. After detailed evaluation of groundwater maps and historical well placements, as well as close liaison with the Department for Water Resources, it became clear that the ideal parcels of land needed to be close to the Baroota Creek system.
This ancient creek system meanders its way through the ranges and onto the plains, with an overflow system into the Baroota Reservoir. Spectacular, century-old river red gums line the banks of the creek. These trees have clearly prospered over time because of the high quality groundwater. With a reliable, sustainable source of high-quality water assured, Emanuel settled on the Gribbles Road site as the suitable location for developing the vineyard, buying the 170-acre parcel of land in late 1996.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Gribbles Road Vineyards
Gribbles Road is on the western slopes of the Southern Flinders Ranges, nestling between the upper reaches of Spencer Gulf and the windswept foothills of the ranges. Rich, sandy loam soils are prevalent throughout, and there is evidence of an ancient flood plain which flowed through the Baroota Creek, washing nutrient rich soils from the hills onto the plains. The first Flinders Run vineyards were established here during the spring of 1997.
Deep, fertile and consistent, the soil has proven to be the ideal setting for a vineyard, while the property’s location is directly over the Baroota Aquifer, guaranteeing access to the ancient spring-fed aquifer for irrigation. Although the land is fertile, we still need to choose plants that will thrive in these conditions, which is why Emanuel worked closely with Leasingham Wines viticulturist, Ian Smith, to source suitable cultivars. We conducted trials in the region and determined that the Provis Shiraz clone was the most suitable for Gribbles Road. So, in the winter of 1997, Emanuel spent a week camped in the Leasingham Wines 1893 Provis Shiraz vineyard, cutting and preparing planting material from its 100-year-old Shiraz vines.
Plantings continue as Emanuel pursues his research identifying further high quality performing clones across the varietals he selects to represent the Flinders Run stable of premium quality wines.
Middle Track Vineyards
With the success of the Flinders Run Shiraz, and the newly-developed Little Flinders Shiraz Cabernet, the Flinders Run brand was growing on the international stage. The sudden demand for our wines in the newly acquired China and Singapore markets meant that there was an immediate need to increase fruit and wine production. The only way to achieve this was to look at an alternative supply solution from the Southern Finders Ranges, but, of course, there was limited availability when it came to established blocks. That’s when fate dealt her hand, with an ideal, iconic block coming up for sale at precisely the right time. Middle Track vineyard, as it became known, is located only a short distance from Gribbles Road, also on the western slopes of the Southern Flinders.
And what an acquisition it was! Middle Track had originally been developed as a market garden block in 1965 before conversion to vineyards in 1995. It had an envious reputation for producing fruit of exceptional quality. In yet another quirk of this ancient region, Middle Track is the only vineyard in the district that sits on a band of red-brown loam known as Terra Rossa, the soil that made the Coonawarra famous. This streak of rich soil, combined with the area’s microclimate and our biodynamic approach to vineyard management, means that Middle Track continues to produce a range of wines that demands respect from palates around the world.
Unsurprisingly, the wines produced from this site have proven to be of the highest quality across consecutive vintages.
Middle Track Redevelopment
Can we take Middle Track to higher heights? We are certainly on the road to find out with redevelopment underway, introducing more cultivars with even better compatibility. Emanuel has chosen three superior quality Shiraz clones ( BV0VS10, PT23, and Kalimna 3C), and two new Cabernet Sauvignon clones imported from France (Clones 169, and 337), with the goal of developing a new range of ultra-premium, single vineyard, estate grown wines.
Given the historical nature of this site and its unique terroir, we are confident of producing something quite special, as we grow and manage these vines using our sustainable, biodynamic farming approach.
The vision is to harvest this block into small parcels, process in small batch ferments, and then extend the maceration and fermentation process in order to extract maximum colour, tannins, and flavours from this premium fruit. The process will then be finished with a gentle basket press, in order to preserve and capture the charm of the fruit without compromising the flavours.
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Become a "Pioneering Vintner" by joining our wine club today!
Emanuel and Laura welcome you with a complimentary membership to explore Flinders Run through its exclusive Pioneering Vintners wine club experience.
By joining you will receive
- Complimentary privileges designed to enhance your enjoyment of our wines.
- Preferential pricing and special offers and first access to new release wines.
- Your favourite wines delivered to your door.
- member-only invitations, offers and privileges.
- Quarterly newsletter with updates from the vineyard, vintage reports, as well as a word from the winemaker on how the wines are maturing.