Mount Majura Vineyard lies near the top of the Majura Valley, just outside the city of Canberra. The valley floor, too frosty in Spring for vines, was a camping area and transit corridor for the original Ngunnawal people.
On the slopes of the valley, where the the cold air drains away, the soil has developed from two geological formations. Limestone was deposited in the Silurian era, 430 million years ago, at the beginning of the simplest life on land. The Ainslie Volcanics, which form Mount Majura itself, were deposited very shortly afterwards.
To a vigneron, an east-facing slope with limestone speaks softly but urgently of a need to plant vines. So it was that the late Dr Edgar Riek, a pioneer of viticulture in the Canberra District, came to plant a vineyard together with the then owner of our site, Mrs Dinny Killen. In 1988, the first hectare of Mount Majura Vineyard was planted, to pinot noir, chardonnay, and a field-blend of cabernet franc and merlot.