We want to make wine that is an expression of this place; pure, authentic, terroir wines from healthy vines in healthy soils. We want to make the very best wines we can by having a deeper knowledge and understanding of the land. A human’s influence is relevant for a short time, but the land is timeless if we look after it.
The farm sits on the traditional lands of the Ngadjuri people. We acknowledge the Ngadjuri people as the traditional custodians of this land. We seek to honour the land’s Aboriginal history, to learn from their spiritual relationship with Country and to promote the idea of guardianship rather than ownership. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging.
We want our wines to be completely reflective of the landscape of Alkina, so we look for the most authentic expression possible. It is a quest for beauty that comes from the earth, the revelation of the sensual personality of place. With this in mind, we must have a broad, complex and highly functioning set of interconnecting ecosystems at work. We strongly believe that you can only achieve this by cutting out synthetic chemicals, so Alkina has been run organically since day one.
"Our dream from the beginning was to make wines that reflect our landscape, that have typicity, and Alberto Antonini explained that you can't make terroir wine if you grow grapes in a hydroponic environment - one where you've stripped everything out because you're afraid of what might be in the soil. You won't make anything that tastes interesting out of dead soils. Dead soils make dead wine he said. It made total sense to me. You have to pay attention, nurture and embrace it if you want to make beautiful wine. The winemaking needs to 'disappear' so that we can see the landscape in our wines.” Amelia Nolan
In some regions it’s hard to make the change to organic viticulture because of the weather, but the Barossa has a warm, dry climate and our site is particularly windy, so it the switch has been a great success. We farm grapes in a way that is harmonious with our surroundings and in a way that will leave the soils and the ecosystems in a healthier state than when we found them. The front 40 hectares of the farm has been certified organic and biodynamic, by NASAA, since 2018. The back block, formerly the Owens Vineyard, was added on in 2017 and has also been farmed organically throughout and received full certification in 2022.
Greenock Creek runs through the farm like a vital artery. Even though it is often dry, it still teems with life, with native plant species and our precious native bee population. Heavy winter rainfall fills the pond towards the back of the farm occasionally and you can see the birdlife explode around this time. Along the creek banks we have undertaken significant work to restore native species. In the early years this meant pulling out invasive trees and bushes to give our native plantings a chance to get established again and each year we plant extensively along the creek. In 2017 we completed a comprehensive insect survey, through which we identified 12,500 individual species on the farm, including lots of beneficial insects and native bee species. From there we have been able to identify plantings that help foster these friendly species and naturally reduce the populations of pests. It is a never-ending work in progress…but one that fosters incredible vibrancy and a sense of natural energy on the farm.
By employing biodynamic practices we are able to learn how to work in harmony with nature, to observe changes and improvements each year, and to allow the vineyard to perform at its biodiverse and complex best. Complexity breeds stability and resilience in nature and the benefits stretch far beyond what you might see in a text book.