Guy & Liz Adams
Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Malbec
In 1891 Arthur Formby planted the first vines on Metala, having been encouraged to do so by his brother-in-law Ronald Martin of Stonyfell fame. The plantings consisted of 21 rows of Shiraz, 3.9 acres of which are still producing and 14 rows of Cabernet, 2.0 acres of which are still producing. A further 5.4 acres of Shiraz was planted in 1894 and all are still producing premium fruit. The most notable thing about Langhorne Creek is the ability to grow premium quality grapes with a minimal amount of fuss. The climate is warm enough that we don’t have to endure some of the cool climate headaches such as devastating frosts, labour intensive canopy management or inclement weather associated with late harvest dates. Instead we avoid the risk of frost damage in the spring and are able to grow our vines as a hassle free sprawl, and enjoy a relatively early harvest time while still producing the same quality fruit found in cool climates.
The secret to the success of growing cool climate grapes in a warm region is the presence of a large body of water only 5 km from the vineyard known as Lake Alexandrina which is about 3 times the size of Sydney Harbour.
During the summer months, the convection currents created from the hot air movement over the cooler water body result in a cooling breeze known affectionately as “the Lake Doctor”. The Lake Doctor moves through the vineyard in the afternoons, aerating the canopy and lowering the temperature of the fruit. This ensures slower ripening of the berries which gives them enough time to develop the more desirable complex flavour compounds. The Lake Doctor also reduces the relative humidity in the canopy lowering the incidence of disease, and reduces the need for excessive use of fungicide sprays.
The soils are also excellent for grape production; with much of the Metala vineyard growing on free draining, deep sandy loam. This is an ideal soil type for grapes as it allows us to manipulate the vines through our nutrient and water inputs. We regularly monitor soil moisture during the growing season which allows us to control vine growth and berry development by applying water in a regulated manner.
Brothers in Arms is very much a family concern. The owners, Guy & Liz Adams, are involved in all aspects of the business on a daily basis. It’s not surprising really as they live on the vineyard only 2 minutes down the road to the winery. The homestead is the hub of everything as well as being the domain of their 2 children, Myles & Emily. They are the 6th Generation to live at Metala and are the inspiration for many things.