The Mount Majura Vineyard
The site for Mount Majura Vineyard was selected from a geology map, exploiting a small patch of limestone on an east-facing slope.
The limestone is mixed with volcanic rock, and both are very old, dating from the Silurian (430 million years). The red, iron-rich soil that has developed from these parent rocks has an almost neutral pH, some clay that gives water holding capacity, and excellent structure, allowing water to infiltrate and roots to penetrate to depth.
When you consider the Canberra climate, with its warm summers and relatively low and unreliable rainfall, the value of good soil is obvious. The most important feature of the climate from a viticultural point of view is its continentality, with large differences between summer and winter temperatures, and between day and night temperatures. This explains the relatively good ‘homo-clime’ or climate match to Spanish regions such as Ribera del Duero, so it is no surprise that tempranillo and other varieties such as shiraz, that suit a continental climate, do well here.