Lilliput of Rutherglen
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 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 growing season has been different from all the other season we have “enjoyed” here so far. The spring was very wet with above average rainfall; we were very nearly flooded after the big dumps of rain we had in October and November. In all these years, we never had this much water in our dam. The vines loved this kind of weather and they grew a beautiful canopy of leaves, canes and fruit.
We are now suffering under the third heat wave of high 30’s and low 40’s degree C for several days. The vines are holding up very well, which is in part thanks to our soil improvements with compost and mulch over the years.
I hope we will return to more normal summer temperatures of low 30 degree days soon, as both we and the vines enjoy these days better.