Home Property

Home Property – Bassham Road

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The home property is idyllically situated 3 kilometers east of Barmera and 5km from the majestic Lake Bonney on the corner of Old Sturt Highway and Bassham Road, Barmera and is located in the Berri Irrigation area – section 482. Our region resembles a warm to hot Mediterranean climate, with a yearly average 210mm rainfall. This vineyard features sandy loam over limestone soil.

This property has a rich family heritage being a First World War return Soldiers Settlers Property, which was a section of Mallee scrub allotted to returned service men.

The property was cleared and irrigation channels were built along with a 2 bedroom home. Bruce’s grandparents lived in a tent along the banks of Lake Bonney during the time their home was being built which was subsequently completed in1920. They planted apricots, Sultana, Dora and Gordo grape varieties. His grandfather would deliver his grapes to the Moorook distillery some 20 miles away by horse and buggy, crossing the river by a rope drawn ferry. He was a founding member of the Berri Estates Winery which was established in 1924 by a group of grape growers who formed a Co-operative distillery to manage surplus grape production and at the time he received about 2 pounds a tonne for his grapes that were delivered there.

Bruce’s father Jim later returned from the Second World War to manage the block and develop more scrub land, planting Palamino grapes and Peaches.

The year 1965 saw Bruce leave school and join his father Jim on the 35 acre property. Bruce has worked, managed and owned the Bassham Family Vineyard for some 46 years. He has seen many changes and has replanted the whole block at least three times over that period. He was one of the first growers to grow Riesling in the late 1960′s, Chardonnay in the 1980′s and later alternative varieties in 2009. We now grow Vermentino, Montepulciano, Graciano, Nero d’Avola as well as Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet Savignon, Gordo and Semillon on the family property.

The vineyard is managed by micro sprinkler irrigation, mechanical harvesting, mechanical pruning, with no artificial fertilizers being used and only organic based fertilizers. Covercrops of clover, medics and native grasses are used. Most of the crop from this property is sold to Orlando Wyndham.