Grapevines flourish in the granitic gravels of this small part of Queensland’s Granite Belt. In this image, Brad is plucking leaves on the eastern side of the vine row to allow light and air to circulate.
Savina Lane lies in a small basin at 850m elevation, 28kms north of the Queensland border with NSW. Winter here is a time of fire and ice. Summers are milder and less humid with cool nights. The unique granitic gravel soil is well-suited to growing lesser-known vine species – widely known as alternative varieties.
The lovely 7-acre vineyard was first planted almost 60 years ago when cuttings from much older vines were established by the Savina family, who had immigrated to Australia from Italy after the Second World War. The wine made from this Old Vine Shiraz block is now legendary. Other varieties grown here are Fiano, Tempranillo and Graciano, all now between 20 and 22 years of age. In 2012 we planted Montepulciano and Petit Manseng and our first harvest of these in 2016 yielded tiny quantities of beautiful wines which sold out immediately. These vines are now eight years old and producing quality fruit.
We practice environmentally-sustainable viticulture, combining modern vineyard management with respect for tradition. Natural fertilisers and organic compounds for crop protection are used wherever possible. Spraying is done at times when natural insect predators, such as ladybirds, are finished eating for the day, as even organic sprays will harm them. These tiny predators assist with insect pest control.
Water management is an important issue in this dry, granite country. Shallow spoon drains curl around the vineyard, taking precious rainwater run-off directly into ‘Lake Savina’ (our large dam). The vineyard is trickle-irrigated to provide just enough moisture to encourage the vines to put down deep roots. A little struggle helps intensify fruit flavours.