Bassham Family Heritage Vineyard – Bassham Road. The Heritage property is idyllically situated 3 kilometres 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 1887. Our region boasts a warm to hot climate, with a yearly average 210mm rainfall. This vineyard features sandy loam over limestone soil. The property has a rich family heritage being a First World War Return Soldiers Settlement 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 in 1920. They planted apricots, Sultana, Dora and Gordo grape varieties. Grandfather Bassham 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. Today the vineyard consists of mainly alternative grape varieties suited to our Mediterranean hot dry summers and cold to very cold winters.
The vineyard is managed by micro sprinkler irrigation, mechanical harvesting, mechanical pruning, with no artificial fertilizers being used and only organic based fertilizers. Cover crops of clover, medics and native grasses are used.
The Bassham family have owned the vineyard to this day and are passionate viticulturalists and proud Riverland locals. Bruce (4th generation) has replanted the entire acreage 3 times in his 53 years at the helm and continues as market demands etc are forever changing.