The Crabtree Estate is located directly in the middle of the famous Watervale sub district of the Clare Valley.
The 13.2 ha vineyard is planted to the following varieties;
riesling 5.5 ha – planted between 1975/ 1982/ 1999
semillon 0.3 ha – planted 1988
cabernet sauvignon 2.0 ha – planted 1988/2000
grenache 1.2 ha – planted 1946
shiraz 3.0 ha – planted 1955/ 1988/ 1991/ 1994
tempranillo 0.7 ha – planted 1999/2003
All vineyards have row and vine spacings of approx 3.3m x 1.8m or 1,684 vines per hectare. That’s 22,228 vines that are all hand pruned, hand picked and individually named.
The soils in Watervale are gradational red loam over limestone, slightly alkaline and having good water holding capacity which is considered to contribute greatly to the quality of riesling. There are two major riesling blocks, one slope facing due East with North – South trellising and the other facing the South East with East – West trellising. Both cool vineyards protected from the hot northerly winds of summer. The soils on a separate riesling vineyard are loam on shale (soft slate).
A significant proportion of the shiraz blocks is red loam over sandstone (with a little ironstone). As the vineyard runs down the hill to the west, towards the old windmill block and the Riesling Trail, the soil changes from quite sandy to Bay of Biscay where cabernet and grenache are grown.
The vineyard is essentially dry grown with limited water applied at the end of the growing season. Supplementary irrigation is via drippers. The dam on the property in conjunction with a bore (80 mtrs) supplies the supplementary water when required.
No Murray River water is used.