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As the famous saying goes, “Great wine begins on the vine”. For Campbells it all began with the first planting of the original Bobbie Burns Vineyard by John Campbell in the 1870's. John's son David was the first vigneron in the area to replant with Phylloxera-resistant stock. Allen, David's son and father to Colin and Malcolm continued the plantings, using only the best clones to graft on to new rootlings.
Today Malcolm Campbell, fourth generation viticulturist and his team tend the family vineyards. Malcolm's philosophy is simple, “Quality at the expense of quantity is our aim. We assist nature, we don't seek to dominate her.”
Our vineyards total approximately 65 hectares (161 acres) of trialled and proven varieties all situated entirely within the defined Rutherglen Wine Region. Varietal and clonal selection criteria is based on the suitability to the Rutherglen environment.
White varieties are riesling, trebbiano, viognier, chardonnay and semillon. Red varieties include shiraz, the rare durif, tempranillo, cabernet sauvignon and malbec. Our world renowned Rutherglen Muscats are made from the variety muscat à petits grains rouge, and our Rutherglen Tokay (Topaque) from muscadelle.
With the range of grape varieties, different vineyard management techniques such as innovative trellising and canopy management are employed to maximize the potential of each variety.
Malcolm runs a continuous vine improvement, varietal and clonal selection program. His aim is to grow grapes suited to the region. He maintains a nursery block, planted in the 1960's and fondly referred to as our 'Sixties Block'. It contains more than forty white, red and fortified varieties. The rationale for this is that a variety would have to work from a viticultural perspective prior to having any success in the winery. Two successful varieties have been viognier and roussanne. They both showed good potential and after small trial batches of wine were most successful, plantings are now being increased with confidence.