Our viticulture philosophy at Xanadu is based on an intimate knowledge of our vineyards, soil health and an unwavering passion towards a resilient, sustainable future. With a focus on continuously improving our natural environment, our vineyards soil restoration, improved biodiversity, ecosystems and increased biosequestration is central to our natural approach.
Whilst implementing both modern and conventional viticultural practices, our team additionally focus on targeting a more natural based program, delivering on soil and vine health whilst reducing the impact of pest and disease pressure, ultimately delivering healthier, naturally resilient vines.
Lagan & Boodjidup Estate
The Lagan Estate is located on the Xanadu property and is our first vineyard planted in 1977 by Dr John Lagan. The original varieties planted includes Cabernet Sauvignon and Semillon, closely followed by Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.
It is a relatively flat site with vines rooted in a deep, gravelly loam soil over clay which allows for free draining. The vines use vertical shoot positioning trellising and has a total of 17 hectares under vine.
The Boodjidup Estate is located next to the Lagan Estate, expanding out onto Boodjidup and Exmoor Drives. Planted in 1999, the standout varietal is 14 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon. Performing on our north/south and east/west orientated rows, we utilise a variety of canopy management techniques to achieve these fine wines. Other notable varieties that make up the 47 hectares under vine are Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Shiraz.
The Stevens Road vineyard was first planted in 1987, situated 3km from the Xanadu winery, the Rathbones purchased the vineyard in 2008. With 24 hectares under vine, the block is a gracious host to many varieties such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Shiraz, Graciano, Petit Verdot and Muscadelle. The Boodjidup Brook weaves its way through the undulating property which gives rise to multiple aspects throughout the vineyard.
The soils on the Stevens Road vineyard are predominantly sandy loams over granite. These soils are conducive to the well-balanced vines which are in the Boodjidup Brook catchment on Stevens Road.
The two stellar varietals to come off this vineyard include both the Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. The Chardonnay from Block 2 offers a wonderful minerality and tightly coiled style. This block is planted with an easterly aspect with the vines well balanced, with very low vigour. There is an underground stream meandering through the block – this mystical site produces the grapes that nearly always make up our single vineyard Stevens Road Chardonnay.
The Cabernet Sauvignon comes from 21 rows of Houghton clone Cabernet on free draining gravelly-loam soils. The block has an easterly aspect with north-south orientation, vines are cane pruned with natural low-moderate vigour that have tended to settle at yields of 5-6 tonnes per hectare. It’s a block that just always seems to know its own balance.
Margaret River’s ability to ripen fruit with excellent balance, refinement and structure allows our winemakers to take a relatively minimal intervention approach in the winery allowing the quality of the grapes to shine. Seen as custodians of the vineyards and what each individual site has to offer, our winemakers guide the wines through to the bottle, rather than ‘beating them into submission’.
It’s the combination of the climate, soils and historic clonal material in which form our heartland varieties of Chardonnay (Ginginclone) and Cabernet Sauvignon (Houghton clone). The Ginginclone of Chardonnay is ubiquitous with Margaret River, representing a major portion of Chardonnay plantings in the region. It is known for its small bunches and its ‘hen and chicken’ berries (millerandage) that produce fruit of intense, concentrated power and high natural acid. The clone was originally imported into Western Australia in 1957 by the Department of Agriculture from the University of California Davis. Our heartland, Cabernet Sauvignon is made predominately with the Houghton clone. With its ability to provide a balance of blackcurrant, berry and cassis flavours, the clone evokes impeccable structure and resolved tannins. The Houghton clone was introduced to Western Australia between 1836 and 1895 with locals suggesting possible South African origins.
Techniques such as whole bunch pressing, wild fermentation, French oak and lees stirring culminate fruit-forward wines where the loudest voice in the glass is the vineyard.