We are a Bannockburn winery. Our heritage, and our future, is tied to the land in our corner of this distinctive sub-region.
Since the arrival of the deadly vine pest phylloxera in Burgundy in the 1870s, the Pinot Noir grape has, almost without exception, been grafted onto more resistant disease resistant American rootstock. While vine and rootstock can be incredibly well matched, in its most natural, pure state, there is no grafting. As the owner of Domaine Henry-Marrionet, the owner of the oldest vineyard France, has said “We have the luck to possess the oldest vineyard of France, which was planted in 1850...Wines coming from ungrafted vines give much more complex aromas, a more pronounced red colour, and greater density, volume, and much greater fatness in the mouth....The wines from ungrafted vines have more of everything, and greater length. The rootstock acts as a filter.”
There is real financial risk in this strategy, as phylloxera is still very much alive and kicking and, if it gets in your vineyard, it can wipe you out. At Terra Sancta we carry this risk on a number of our vines, but think the flavor results, including the natural clarity and concentration of the integrated, natural, ungrafted vine is worth it.
The truth of these ungrafted vines can be tasted in particular in Slapjack Block Pinot Noir- which comes entirely from vines on their own rootsock, as do the Terra Sancta estate Riesling and Dry Rielsing, while Jackson’s Block comes predominantly from original rootstock.