Our vineyards

Given almost two centuries of Australian agricultural history, Bourke & Travers is a farm first and foremost.

Located in the upper catchment of the Armagh Creek, the key emphasis is on terroir, which allows the vineyards to express their individual personalities.

The property spans four typically steep western Clare stony ridges and gullies. It undulates between 405-473m above sea level, the altitude drawing important cooling southerly evening gully breezes from Skillogalee and Penwortham in the summer and autumn ripening period.

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The seismic soils in the Armagh region are among the oldest vineyard dirt in the world. The three B&T vineyards are planted on a mix of naturally sodic and acidic soils. These comprise:

  • Shiraz, Block 41, sandy loam over red clay on quartzite ridges and terra rossa [sandy loam over limestone] (458-465m above sea level);
  • Mourvèdre, Block 40A, loam over red clay on siltstone gravel (422-426m); and
  • Grenache, Hill Block 40B, loam over quartzile bedrock and rock fragments (427-447m, planted in 2017).

Three distinct micro terroirs within Block 41 (including north and south facing aspects) allow us to hand pick and ferment specific parcels for the Single Vineyard Shiraz.

With about 700mm (28 inches) of average rainfall our vines are established dry-grown. In hot summers we use supplementary irrigation, from rainfall collected in winter dams.  Harsh winter frosts, where temperatures in the vineyard regularly drop below zero, help keep diseases and pests at bay.

We work hard to do less.  The vineyards are farmed with minimal intervention, that means full organic practices – so no tillage, no fertiliser, no pesticides, no insecticides and especially no herbicides.  We add only organic copper, sulphur and gypsum.  This helps us to get full ripeness of fruit at lower baumes (and hence alcohols).

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