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BACKGROUND: The name ‘Stump Jump’ relates to the significant South Australian invention – the Stump Jump plough. This plough became a popular piece of machinery for ploughing fields because of its ability to ride over stumps and gnarled “mallee” Eucalypt roots and snags, saving valuable time and resources by not stopping the draught horse.
THE VINTAGE: A healthy winter and plenty of spring rains set the vines up very well. Bud burst was on time, but very cool for the first part of spring. Shoots grew to 5 or 6 inches long and then stopped for a month. Flowering was quite late, by three weeks, which meant a late start to harvest, and long, slow ripening periods. The summer rains stopped in mid-January, so disease pressure was low. It was very dry from February to April, with only a few millimeters of rain. Days were mild with a lot of cool nights, the first few weeks of April was around two degrees hotter than usual, which help that last bits of fruit to ripen. Overall, a great vintage with minimal disease pressure and above average crop levels.
VITICULTURE: Four generations of learning have provided Chester with an intimate knowledge of his vineyards and a healthy respect for each site’s unique terroir. To optimize vine health, vineyard sprays are minimized, while legume cover crops and clover are grown between rows, increasing organic matter and nitrogen in the soils and providing natural weed control. Many of the oldest Grenache vineyards house traditional dry-grown bush vines yielding small berries of intense flavor; the remaining vines are stressed in the pursuit of naturally low yields. Chester’s predecessors, father d’Arry and grandfather Frank, established McLaren Vale as a champion of the red Rhone blend, and today d’Arenberg remains an industry innovator, with plantings of the white Rhone varieties as well as Tempranillo and Souzao. Diversification into the cool-climate Adelaide Hills has provided material for the production of crisp, focused Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
WINEMAKING: The d’Arenberg cellars were constructed in 1928 by Chester’s grandfather, Frank, and since then have undergone major restoration and expansion with Chester and father d’Arry at the helm. Despite this modernization, traditional techniques such as foot treading and basket pressing are still employed.
Grapes are gently crushed in rubber toothed crushers, with fermentation taking place in stainless steel tanks, barriques or, for the reds, open fermenters with heading down boards providing gentle extraction of color and tannin. Nineteenth century ‘Coq’ and ‘Bromley & Tregoning’ basket presses are used in pressing both red and white musts. Maturation occurs in American and French oak barriques, with small batches vinified separately throughout. These techniques ensure the winemaker is in touch with the individual textures and flavors of each parcel of wine, bringing balance and complexity to the final blends.
VARIETALS: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Marsanne, and Roussanne
ORGANIC. BIODYNAMIC. SUSTAINABLE.
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