DOWIE DOOLE Vineyard - McLaren Vale

Some Insight into the Geology of DOWIE DOOLE'S New Vineyard
The Dowie Doole vineyard is an exciting site for those winelovers who have a keen interest in terroir. The vineyard is cut in half by Pedlar Creek and tributaries which has left two separate hills. 

The first hill, including the aptly named 'Rock Paddock' planted to Shiraz, has ancient rock at its core. The vineyard sits on Heatherdale shale a geological formation laid down a mind-boggling 526 million years ago. 

Heatherdale Shale (526 MY): Ancient Rocks
Laid down when the present McLaren Vale region was under a cold deep ocean with primitive life.
Description: Pyritic (contains iron), calcareous shale and siltstone (calcium shells and silts pressed into the ocean floor), containing bivalve arthropods and trilobite fossils.

The vineyard blocks on the second hill, including the 1965 Grenache, are on the famous North Maslin Sands geology. While this geological formation was laid down more recently than the Heatherdale shale, it dates back 56 million years. North Maslin Sands geology appears in bands from cliffs of Maslin Beach to Blewitt Springs.

North Maslin Sands (56 MY)
Cross-bedded fluvial sandstone, conglomerate with minor sandy siltstone, unconsolidated. "Lumps of sand" pressed together over time. During times of high rainfall in our region, iron has leached into the the sand lumps and cemented them together to make "ironstone".

These hills have subtle differences which help contribute to first the grapes and then the resultant wine. On both of Dowie Doole's hills, grapevine roots are able to work their way into cracks in the rock and pick up nutrients and water. The rate and abundance of nutrients and water influences the way the grapevines naturally grow, their fruit and our wines.
August 26, 2016

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