Lilliput of Rutherglen

The Vineyard

The first vines of our 7 ha vineyard were planted in 1997. The vineyard is located along the pristine southern side of the Black Dog Creek with its ancient red gum and grey box trees.

The north-south orientated vineyard is planted on deep alluvial clay loams and interpaired buckshot gravel that has good water holding properties. Our low yielding vines produce fuller bodied wines with great depth of colour, full of aroma and flavours.

Lilliput has adopted organic viticulture principles to achieve a “terroir” of the site, allowing the wines to speak for themselves - ‘healthy soils create healthy plants’. We are passionately committed to improving and maintaining the soil by mulching, spreading compost and thus creating a healthy, living soil.

Lilliput is a registered LAND for WILDLIFE property; the vineyards are surrounded by a large variety of trees, shrubs, birds and wildlife. By working with nature rather than against it, we at Lilliput encourage and welcome our “volunteer army” of birds – big and small – to keep our vineyard pest free, and it is working very well.

The ‘Bordeaux’ dominant vineyard is planted with the classic French varieties: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot. There is also Syrah (Shiraz) and Viognier to add a Rhone flavour.

(By clicking on the name of the variety will allow viewing of the specific qualities of each variety.)

The north-south row orientation was selected as it will give our vines maximum exposure to sunlight and ensure an even ripening of the grapes on both sides of the row.

The vines are irrigated from our dam during the summer months. We try to keep the vines green as long as we can each season by giving sufficient water through the drip irrigation system. Our philosophy is that as it is the green leaves that produce the sugars that end up in the grapes, we feel that they should be encouraged for as long as possible. Without green leaves there is no sugar production and thus the grapes will not ripen sufficiently.

Another component of our strategy to ‘grow the best grapes’, is that we prune the vines very hard in winter so that they will grow less bunches; although this reduces the quantity of grapes, it significantly improves grape quality. The wine is made in the vineyard as well as in the winery.

The frost & drought of the 2006-7 growing season has been as devastating as described in the media. We have produced very little wine this season, which means we will have to rely more on the wines we have on hand to provide a greater contribution to the future survival of Lilliput Wines. Fortunately, these wines are beginning to show the greater maturity of the vineyard, with greater complexity and flavour filled structure.

The vines finally managed to produce a canopy by the end of the growing season, although much smaller and less well leaf covered. In the absence of water to irrigate toward the end of the season the leaves lost their green colour and drop from the vines much earlier than usual. The frost will have an impact on the 2008 wines as the vines will be less fruitful.

We hope the drought will break and allow us to produce more great wines in 2008.