Main Vineyards

At Pimpernel Vineyards our approach to the management and cultivation of vines verges on obsessive. Our wines are produced with fruit grown on the Pimpernel estate. Varieties range from Yarra Valley classics like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Shiraz, to more eclectic varietals including Marsanne, Mouvedre and Muscat of Alexandria. All vines are tended to directly by Winemaker and Vineyard Manager Damien Archibald and his team to ensure optimal quality fruit with each changing vintage. Our manner of vineyard management draws on traditional European viticulture techniques. All work carried out in the vineyard – pruning, canopy management, picking – is done by hand. The vines are grown dry with organic crops in the inter-row spaces. This promotes low cropping, increases flavour concentration and improves natural acidity.

Calcaire Vineyard

The Calcaire Vineyard is the manifestation of Mark’s intense interest in the influence of terroir in wine production. Affectionately known by Pimpernel workers as ‘The Triangle’, this half-acre parcel of Pinot Noir vines is an ongoing experiment exploring the importance of site and vineyard management in winemaking.

The idea began to germinate in Mark’s mind after a vacation in Burgundy with his mother.  During the trip they stopped at Vosne-Romanée and La Tâche – arguably two of the most famous Pinot Noir vineyards in the world – where his mother cheekily jumped the fence to pocket a couple of stones. Upon returning to the Yarra Valley Mark had the stones analysed, discovering they were similar to the limestone from the Lilydale quarry.

To establish the Calcaire block, Mark selected a special area of the vineyard and excavated a half-acre block by two metres. 250 tonnes of the locally sourced limestone was combined with the subsoil before returning the topsoil. After a fallow period the Pinot Noir vines were then close-planted on a 10,000 plant per hectare grid, the traditional trellising scale of Burgundy.

The first Pinot Noir from this vineyard, Pinot Noir Three, was produced in 2013 and was released in late 2014.