“The easterly aspect, in my opinion, has turned out to be what makes our site so unique. We get the early morning sun and not the hot afternoon sun, the prevailing wind in Summer is an easterly. In most of WA it is hot, but for us it comes off the bight, so is a cooling sea breeze, and although we are only 300m above sea level, the surrounding land is low and flat, so I believe that the way the easterly is uplifted as it hits the Porongurups is important too.”

Rob Diletti

Towards the end of 1981 the 55 hectare property was specifically selected by Angelo and Wendy Diletti to grow premium quality table-wine grapes. The choice was based on the elevation, an approximate eastern slope, well-drained soils and excellent water catchment potential.

The vineyard is located on Porongurup Road in the shire of Plantagenet. It is set high in the Porongurup Ranges, which are 40 km north of Western Australia’s south coast regional centre Albany.

The elevation, 300 metres, and the position of the vineyard, which exposes the vines to cooling south-east breezes results in a prolonged growing season. This enables varieties like Riesling and Pinot Noir which are heat sensitive and early to ripen, to develop maximum varietal flavour and ripeness while maintaining natural acidity and balance.

Castle Rock Estate grape vines

The first varieties (Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon) were planted in 1983. Those first two hectares were followed in 1986 with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with further plantings of Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Later plantings included more Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chardonnay, plus Sauvignon Blanc, Gerwurztraminer and the first and only plantings so far of Grüner Veltliner in the Porongurup wine region.

In the vineyard we use extensive canopy management to promote air flow through the vines and thus reduce the reliance on bunch-rot fungicides, and only use sulphur for mildew control (this is a practice permissible for certified organics).

Rather than rely on pesticides or insecticides we aim to facilitate the natural balance of the vineyard, allowing a heathy and strong microcosm.