The wine grapes, destined for both bottled and cask wine, include many varietals – ranging from Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Colombard, Frontignan White, Gordo, Mataro, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Pinor Noir, Riesling, Semillion, and Shiraz.
Mr. Proud says that growing wine grapes for the larger wineries has been important for Riverland viticulture. Riverland wine is Australia’s most popular wine, sold either in value-for-money casks, popular premium bottles, or exported around the world.
“The Riverland climate allows us to produce excellent fruit. The quality is consistently high due to low disease pressure and advanced irrigation technology,” Mr. Proud said. “Environmentally it is better than bottles. Scandinavians lead by example. They are willing to purchase quality wine in casks and not be blinkered by preconceived ideas.”
Mr. Proud said of the 15 varietals grown on Sherwood Estates, it was most exciting to have 1.8 hectares of the Italian white Bianco d’Allesano. “By having larger areas planted to varieties such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Shiraz, and having a contract with a number of wineries, we now have the ability to explore the options of planting emerging and alternative varieties. We are looking more and more at Mediterranean varieties that produce high quality popular wines,” he said.
Mr Proud is a director of Sherwood Estates, a collaborative farming venture, based on the “Collaborative Farming Australia” principles.