Margan have 100 hectares of vines across two distinct vineyard sites. Ceres Hill Vineyard has all been planted by us using a mixture of traditional Hunter and pioneering varieties. Fordwich Sill Vineyard was originally planted by wine producer Saxonvale in 1968 with other slopes of the Fordwich Sill being planted by Lindemans Wines in 1971. In the early 1990’s these old vineyards were subdivided and sold and now form three individual vineyard blocks- Timbervines, Fordwich Hill and Saxonvale.
Ceres Hill Vineyard 16ha
This is the property where the winery and tourism operations are based and was first planted by us in 1989 with just 2ha of Semillon. It was the start of Margan Wines. Plantings have increased over the decades to a total of 16ha. There are three soil types on this property: grey clay (Semillon and Chardonnay); sandy loam (Albariño) and red clay sand (Barbera and Merlot).
Ceres Hill Semillon and Ceres Hill Chardonnay are planted on an easterly facing slope on the hill on grey clay. It is an infertile soil causing the vines to struggle which maintains low yields and concentrates flavours in the grapes. The soil ensure acidity in the grapes is high which is the hallmark of Hunter Semillon and this finer style of Chardonnay and allows the wines to age.
We were the first to plant Barbera in the Hunter in 1998. It is planted just behind the winery on a small block of volcanic clay.
We planted Albarino in 2014, being again the first in the Hunter to do so and one of the first in Australia. It is planted to sandy loam between the Kitchen Garden and the Wollombi Brook.
Fordwich Sill Vineyards
Timbervines Vineyard 30ha: is located in Fordwich (an old parish name, not an actual village) across the Wollombi Brook, about 10 minutes North of the winery. It was first planted in 1970 by Lindeman’s and we purchased it in 2005. It now has 30ha of vineyard all planted on the red volcanic clay of the Fordwich Sill and has all our ‘old clone’ vines on it which we have grafted over the last decade. This vineyard includes our Francis John Margan block from which we make our Aged Release Semillon, our BC4 Shiraz block, our Tempranillo Graciano Shiraz field blend and some of our best Shiraz, including our Aged Release Shiraz.
Fordwich Hill Vineyard 26ha: is also located on the Fordwich Sill and planted on the red volcanic soils across 26ha in total. It was first planted in 1970 by Lindemans to Shiraz and Chardonnay with later plantings to Semillon. Our White Label Fordwich Hill Semillon and Fordwich Hill Shiraz come from easterly facing slopes on this vineyard.
Saxonvale Vineyard 28ha: is the name of the former vineyard, winery and wine brand established in the late 1960’s on this unique site on the Fordwich Sill. The winery and brand have long gone but the old vineyard remains which Margan lease. It is a large vineyard with all vines planted on the red volcanic soil unique to the Fordwich Sill. The vineyard provides us with grapes for our Limited Release Wines of White Label Verdelho, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz Mourvèdre.