Spittoon.biz Bookmark This page
Tapanappa Whalebone Cabernet ShirazLike the proverbial bus once you discover one million year old whale skeleton in a vineyard you discover another.
Down Australia way in Brain Croser’s ‘Whalebone’ vineyard in Wrattonbully, South Australia, they have a cave that contains an 800,000 year old whale ‘ripping’ through the soil.

This unique vineyard was planted 30 years ago, on the eastern edge of the west Naracoorte Range, 20 kilometres north of Coonawarra. At the time it was a lonely vineyard on
the edge of the Naracoorte Caves National Park but it is now part of the emerging Wrattonbully viticultural region.
Not even the pioneers who planted the vineyard could have possibly realised how special the site is. Sitting right over the eastern edge of the north south Kanawinka Fault it is probably the oldest shoreline on the plain leaning away to the Great Southern Ocean, 80 kilometres west.
About 800,000 years ago the Great Southern Ocean pounded up against the cliff representing the Kanawinka Fault and formed a sandy beach. A whale, probably a Great Southern Right (Eubalaena Australis), was stranded on the beach, buried in the sand and then preserved in the limestone formed by the dissolving shell material washed down the profile. The limestone has itself been eroded leaving the wonderful bright red soil on the top of the ridge on which the Whalebone Vineyard is planted. The erosion of the limestone continued underground and has formed a large cave complex exposing the bones of the 800,000 year old whale in its walls below the vineyard.
Such is the stuff that makes a unique “terroir”.
The Whalebone Vineyard is sheltered from the worst effects of the winds off the Great Southern Ocean but enjoys its moderating effect creating a special climate for Cabernet Sauvignon. The fractured limestone cap and the deep Terra Rossa soil, allow the vine roots to exploit the limestone and clay rich lower layers deep within the ancient shoreline.”

Sadly I have yet to sample the Whalebone Vineyard Cabernet-Shiraz produced from this unique terroir. Avery’s of Bristol and Noel Young Wines list the 2004 vintage, the second released, at £29.99. The Fareham Wine Cellar have the 2003 at £25.99.

2 Comments »

  1. Edward says:

    Andrew,
    The whale bone is even older – Croser had it carbon dated and it is 35 million years old!
    Below is the URL to the story – the whale bone is mentioned in the penultimate paragraph.
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21510528-32683,00.html
    Cheers

  2. Andrew says:

    Well, hows about that then! Cheers for the info and link Edward, most interesting.

Leave a Comment »




Advert

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Recent Posts

28
Jul

Petit Comptoir Francais

I cooked a guinea fowl the other week. Stuffed to the rafters with cured ham, walnuts, raisins and parsley. It was so stuffed in fact thatRead More

27
Jul

The Ceiling At Max Bordeaux

You can drink – or rather sip, seeing the prices – some of the most luxurious of wines in Max Bordeaux. They had Chateau Haut-Brion 2007Read More

24
Jul

Visiting a Port House: Ramos Pinto

Just behind the lower end of the cable car ride in Vila Nova de Gaia stands a proud, mustard coloured building. This is the lodge forRead More

20
Jul

The Vista Lounge Citrus Garden at the Trafalgar

A London pop-up bar, right in the very centre of town, with one of the most superb views across the skyline. Welcome to the Vista LoungeRead More

20
Jul

Stainless Steel Tanks at Chateau La Dominique Bordeaux

For this weeks Sunday Wine Shot more stainless steel tanks! Hoop-d-dah. This rather grainy shot was taken in the cellars of Chateau La Dominique in Bordeaux.Read More

18
Jul

Quinta do Portal Douro Portugal

On the flight home from Oporto, while waiting with increasing excitement the imminent arrival of the in-flight sandwich, I flicked through the TAP magazine. I hadRead More

Top

© 2004-2014 Spittoon.biz All Rights Reserved