MOOLANDA is a family operated vineyard in the Barossa Valley first planted by Brian Thomson and Anne Moroney in 1998. Situated at the southern extremities of the western ridge, it has been developed as a premium vineyard, supplying fruit to leader wineries.
MOOLANDA is an aboriginal word meaning “from the far side” - was chosen because it was so apt. When we planted the vineyard it was on the far side of the Valley in an area of the Barossa Valley where wine grapes had not previously been grown. And of course, Australia is still seen as being on the far side of the globe - far from the traditional grape growing regions in the northern hemisphere.
MOOLANDA is situated partially on an exposed ridge. The vineyard orientation is east west with a variety of land forms and soil types, giving us a great foundation to grow premium fruit. Row orientation is both north-south and east-west.
The vineyard is undulating-the steepest slopes with a gradient of about 1:3 - with a variety of soil types. It is this terroir - the variability of row orientation, soil types, gradient, exposure-which determines that we get a variety of flavours from one relatively small patch of dirt. Soils are shallow-a variety of loams over some inhospitable clays and a plethora of rock. It’s fantastic vine growing country. Vines which have to work a bit harder produce higher quality fruit.
Today's catchword is SUSTAINABILITY. And it's a catchword which will continue to be sustainable! Sustainability is the future of primary production especially in dry land farming with ancient, denatured soils which is much of Australia. For us it's looking after the land as best we can whilst running profitably. It may seem cliched but we are temporary custodians of these lands and it's our responsibility to ensure we pass on something wonderful for those who succeed us. Our non-organic inputs are minimal and we have a programmed of returning naturally to the soils what we have used. We constantly monitor soil organic and biological health.
Wine making is very simple; get it right in the vineyard and don’t stuff it up in the winery. It’s in the vineyard that the real magic happens. It’s here that we work taking advantage of the local terroir to grow premium quality fruit.
Fermentation is carried out in traditional open fermenters. The process is traditional and labour intensive-heading boards, hand pump overs and hand plunging of the cap. After a couple of days of skin contact post fermentation, we press the residual skins in old concept basket presses and the ’pressings’ are added back to the free run juice. The wine is then transferred to barrels for 18-24 months ageing.
We use a mix of new and used oak aiming usually for a maximum of about 25% new oak. We will use American and French oak although our preference is French-especially for new oak. French oak is tighter grained and imparts less flavour. Our vineyard produces some incredible flavours that we aim to showcase and which we do not need to supplement with oak.