Our vineyard is planted in rows running approx. north south at 3 mtr spacing. It’s located high on the hill overlooking a valley that gently winds its way down to the Adelaide Plains just south of Gawler. This produces a natural wind funnel that helps prevent the problems of mildew. Originally the vines were on a single wire at approx. 900mm high. When you first start and don’t know what you’re doing, you copy and listen to the well intended advise of other grape growers. As you gain experience, you realise that what may work well in one location with one variety is totally unsuitable for another. We now have our merlot vines on a single wire approx. 1500mm high. This further improves air circulation, reduces the foliage in contact with the soil and makes hand picking a lot more comfortable. The terroir of our location and soil produce a merlot grape with intense colour and tannins and the colour and intensity of our Pettit Verdo never fails to impress visiting winemakers. The vines are pruned by hand. The aim is to reduce the yield and improve the quality and intensity of the fruit. The vineyard has irrigation via drippers, but is only used to a minimum to keep the vines alive, not to pump up the grapes with fluid. Weed management is achieved by allowing the sheep to graze the vineyard in winter until the vines begin to bud, after that under the vines are sprayed with glyphosate (zero, roundup) and weeds between the rows are slashed. Up until 2011 the vines were not sprayed with anything. But with the humid conditions of 2011 even with our constant breeze mentioned previously, mildew was detected, so now the vines are sprayed with an organic copper and sulphur compound if necessary. No insecticides or pesticides are used, for this we rely on the magpies for ground dwelling bugs and willy wagtails for the flying ones.