Stonewell’s Barossa Vineyards
Stonewell’s Barossa Vineyards is located on the western side of the Barossa Valley, in South Australia, 3km from Tanunda and 1km from the famous palm lined Seppeltsfield Road and the village of Marananga. Owned and operated by Evan Gobell and Tina Pfeiffer-Gobell, the family property covers a large portion of the small valley of Stonewell.
Within this valley, early settlers built their cottages, sowed crops and established vineyards, but most importantly, dug wells for their water supply. Persistence and back breaking work resulted in one of these wells being dug through solid stone, unfortunately supplying only limited water, but giving the area its name, Stonewell. Stonewell is a highly regarded sub region within the Western Barossa and due to it’s location, has its own micro-climate which results in unique characteristics and flavours in the wines produced.
Stonewell Vineyard’s 75 acres (30 hectares) of vines consist of red varieties Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Tempranillo and Grenache; and white varieties Chardonnay, Frontignac, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.
High quality fruit for local winemakers
Stonewell Vineyards works closely with Barossa Valley wineries and winemakers in supplying high quality fruit for the production of a wide range of South Australian wines.
Grapes produced in Stonewell’s Barossa vineyards are supplied to small local wineries and independent winemakers such as Chateau Tanunda, Seppeltsfield Winery, Two Hands, Torbreck, Tim Smith Wines, Dolan Family Wines and Turkey Flat Wines, to make premium wines in South Australia.
Evan continually works towards making all vineyard work as efficient as possible with the aim to develop processes that are sustainable for the future. Organic vineyard practices such as mechanical undervine weeding is carried out, thereby reducing the amount of herbicide usage. Evan has also developed multi-tool machinery which reduces the number of row passes needed for each process, thereby reducing fuel usage. Irrigation of the vines via dripper line systems is monitored closely and kept to a minimum, aiming for low or controlled tonnages, which produces quality fruit.
The Seasons in the Vineyard
During your stay at Stonewell Cottages you can experience life in a working Barossa vineyard, talk with the vigneron, see the seasonal activities in action and learn about the grape growing process.
Late Summer – Autumn
Vintage usually begins by February and is finished around Easter time. The grapes in the vineyards surrounding the cottages are harvested with machine. Most of this work is undertaken during the cool hours of the night. This ensures the berries pick easily and do not begin premature fermentation, as would be the case on a warm day.
If you are interested in coming out to the vineyard to watch the harvest, we can arrange for you to come out to the vineyard for a personalized hands-on tour. The bush vines behind Cupid’s Cottage are still hand pruned in the traditional way, without any form of trellis. These vines are handpicked and the grapes are used in a wine made solely with Bush Grenache grapes.
This different growth habit and management, produces unique characteristics in the final product. We always have a spare bucket and snips on hand, and welcome our guests to try their hand at grape picking!
By winter time, the vines have shed their autumn splendour, but the work in the vineyard continues. Slowly but surely every vine in the 30 hectares (75 acres) of vineyard is pruned. Some varieties including Chardonnay are cane pruned with new rods tied down every year. Other varieties, including Shiraz and Cabernet are spur pruned, maintaining a permanent cordon along the trellis wire from year to year. The vines spring back to life with the changing season in September.
Springtime brings new jobs with it. As the taste and style of wines change, so the vineyards must keep changing too. New vines may be planted or grafted, trellis updated, watering facilities maintained and the ground under-vine cultivated so that the weeds and vine prunings can be returned to the soil. At Stonewell Vineyards we are conscious of the life of our soil and aim for minimal use of herbicides and fungicides within our management system.
Summer arrives and there’s plenty to do before the harvest starts. Pruning of water shoots in the older vines and training of young vines continues right through the summer months. Vineyards need to be continually monitored for pests and diseases as well as moisture requirements. When the days begin to heat up and the soil dries out, thirst quenching water is delivered to every vine in the vineyard from our storage lakes via dripper line.