About Chalk Hill (brands: Alpha Crucis + Wits End)
Chalk Hill is is one of McLaren Vale’s premier wineries, owned by the Harvey family whose grape growing heritage dates back six generations in South Australia. There are six family-owned vineyards, first planted in 1897, and these century old vines still bear fruit today. Each vineyard has a different soil type and topography.
Vineyards are certified organic. Some biodynamic methods are employed along with IPM (integrated pest management). Wines are labeled under Chalk Hill domestically in Australia, and overseas under both Alpha Crucis and Wits End labels. All wines (whatever the label) are made by Renae Hirsch, who in 2015 succeeded Emma Bekkers. Renae’s approach to winemaking is quite simple, making and drinking wines that have a purity of fruit expression, showcasing varietal, regional and vineyard characteristics. She believes this is achieved using as little intervention as possible, aiming to guide the wines through maturation before bottling to maintain freshness while having balance, elegance and finesse.
Alpha Crucis wines mainly hail from the The Heritage Vineyard in central McLaren Vale. This site sits on Blanche Point Limestone formed between 56 and 34 million years ago. The soil comprises washed sand over clay, which limits vine vigor and hence reduces the number of grapes on each vine. The vines are on their own roots and trellised on a single cordon with vertical shoot positioning to enable good sunlight and air penetration in the vine canopy.
Wines are only released in years that pass muster of quality and varietal integrity.