Terre à Terre

Country: Australia
Region: Wrattonbully, South Australia
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Terre à Terre is a family-owned wine estate, growing and making wines in two cool climate regions in South Australia: the Piccadilly Valley in the Adelaide Hills, and Wrattonbully on the Limestone Coast.

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Xavier Bizot and Lucy Croser both grew up surrounded by passionate winemaking families. They purchased a special piece of land in Wrattonbully, South Australia and planted their first vineyard in 2004, baptising it the Crayères Vineyard. From the beginning the vision for Terre à Terre has been to grow the very best quality grapes, from the same vineyard sites every year, and then vinify them using the best of French and Australian wine practices.

In addition to Terre à Terre, the couple also grow and make traditional method sparkling wine under the name DAOSA (Dedicated Artisans of South Australia), from their sparkling Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards in the Piccadilly Valley, Adelaide Hills.

Viticulture & Winemaking

Xavier and Lucy manage the Crayères Vineyard themselves and retain all the fruit every year for their own wines. The close spaced (1.5m x 1.5m) Crayères Vineyard is cane pruned (Guyot Double), and is pruned by hand. The rocky soils of the Crayères Vineyard do not allow for mechanical undervine weeding. Spray use is limited to sulphur and copper and some preventive fungal sprays. Trellis and shoot growth is managed during the growing season to optimise sunshine in the canopy, and yields are controlled with manual bunch thinning when required. All fruit is handpicked and delivered to the Tapanappa winery in the Piccadilly Valley for processing. Xavier and Lucy’s precision in the management of the Crayères Vineyard, combined their our 18 years of experience with the ecosystem of this very unique vineyard allows them to produce exceptional fruit.

Terre à Terre make two wines from the Crayères Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc fruit. The very best parcel of fruit makes the Crayères Vineyard wine, these grapes are whole bunch pressed, and the juice is fermented in seasoned 600L oak demi-muids. The Down to Earth Sauvignon Blanc is crushed and destemmed, and fermented partially in old oak and partly in stainless steel to enhance its youthful vibrancy. For both wines, sulphur is added at the end of fermentation to inhibit malolactic fermentation, and the wine rests on lees for 6- 9 months before bottling with a light filtration.

The Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Shiraz are all harvested at full ripeness and processed separately. They are crushed and destemmed and the must is fermented either in larger open top fermenters with boards to keep the cap submerged (called potters), or in smaller 1-tonne fermenters, with daily plunging to keep the cap submerged. Some whole bunches are added in select years to the Cabernet Franc fermenters. After the end of fermentation, the wine is pressed off skins and into tank, to go through malolactic fermentation. At the end of the malolactic fermentation, the wine is racked into oak barriques. After 6-12 months ageing in barriques, the wines are racked to old large oak Foudres (4,000L) where they age for a further 6-12 months. After a light egg white filtration, the wines are racked off oak, ready for blending and bottling.

Ater 12 years of experimentation with the fruit from the Crayères Vineyard, Xavier and Lucy have determined that the best wine styles for the vineyard are:

  • Barrel aged and textural Sauvignon Blanc, harvested late, which is reminiscent of some of the best white Bordeaux;
  • Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc-based Shiraz blends, which follow the long tradition of blending Shiraz and Cabernet in South Australia to make some of the best fine wines Australia can produce.