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Generational Farming at Fox Creek Wines, McLaren Vale

>> Monday, December 20, 2010

Paul Rogers from Fox Creek in McLaren Vale in Australia visited Sweden recently and as we don’t often have the opportunity to meet Australian wine producers we were happy to be able to have a chat with Paul. McLaren Vale is a leading wine region in Australia when it comes to sustainability and we asked Paul what this means to Fox Creek.

“We are a small family grower with 40 hectares of vines and we have always been keen on sustainability”, says Paul. “We use very little spraying – we have reduced the number of sprayings a year from 8 to 4 - we plant trees as wind breakers and we only use natural fertilizers. A big concern here in Australia has always been the water. And the different projects in McLaren Vale to come to terms with this serious issue have been quite successful.”

McLaren Vale is situated 45 kilometres south of Adelaide, on the little Fleurieu Peninsula. The ocean is close by and the refreshing wind is more or less constant. McLaren Vale is a fairly new wine region that has been growing a lot the last 15-20 years. When Fox Creek made its first wine in 1994 there were only 16 wine producers, now there are around 70. McLaren Vale has developed a sustainability program called Generational Farming Project. The idea is to pass the vineyard on to the next generation in better condition by using methods and products that will not harm the natural balance in the vineyard. Through the McLaren Water Plan the growers are more and more switching from potable water to recycled water for their irrigation. The goal is to make McLaren Vale 100% sustainable for irrigation purposes. “In only five years the use of recycled water for irrigation has reached 70 %”, says Paul.

Paul left the telecom industry ten years ago and joined his wife and in-laws at Fox Creek, a decision he does not regret. The star grape at Fox Creek in Shiraz, one of them called Red Baron and available in Sweden for 109 SEK. It’s a wine for pleasure, with a lot of fruit and with a good tannin structure. And the see breeze probably helps to give the wine a nice freshness. New and exciting grape varieties are being planted at Fox Creek: Verdelho, Sangiovese, Albariño and Barbera.


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