Winery of winter
The owners of Fraser Gallop are Nigel and Dorothy Gallop who had a keen interest in wines, welll before the winery was established. In the late 1990s, Nigel sold his IT business and then discovered the current plot of land on which they finished the winery, just in time for the 2008 vintage and the awards were quick to follow!
Who are the winemakers?
Clive Otto and Kate Morgan
Clive Otto finished a graduate diploma in oenology in 1989 then moved to Vasse Felix until 2007. He has won many awards including Winestate Magazine’s Australian Winemaker of the Year in 2005 and then in 2009, winning the Decanter World Wine Awards Trophy for the best Cabernet Sauvignon in the world for the 2007 vintage, his first at Fraser Gallop.
Kate Morgan is originally from Perth then travelled the world working vintages before returning to WA. Kate joined Fraser Gallop in January 2008 after working at nearby wineries; Houghton and Stella Bella.
The work doesn’t stop in the vineyard over winter so we’ve asked the Fraser Gallop team if they can tell us what they’re up to.
What’s going on in the vineyard over winter?
We’ve been keeping busy with cane pruning the 19.7 hectares and 32,820 vines.
Why is pruning so important? It’s important because it sets the vine for the coming season and assists yield determination.
How long does it take to prune your vines? It takes about 3 months with 2-3 people pruning at the same time
What other plans are there for the vineyard between now and into September?
We’re looking at mulching / composting under vine in the young vines. This will help both the moisture retention in the soil and the health of microbes in the soil which will aid in nutrient uptake by the plants.
We’ve also been adding sulphur and winter oil spray in the older Cabernet blocks to help control bud mite.
We’re been busy doing a few rows of arch cane wrapping in the Cabernet to monitor the effect on apical dominance and investigating the use of grape skins in making compost to be applied to the vines so it’s been a busy time for us!
Do you ever go to Europe to do the vintage there? Clive went to Europe in 2014 and worked in Bordeaux. Paul McArdle, CEO will be heading over to Europe this vintage to Slovenia, Austria and Germany.
Do you have any special events planned at the cellar door this year? Not at this stage, but we have the intention of setting a program in place with the Cellar door manager so watch this space for later in the year!