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Carol and Tony Bradley Dunn work on their own small acre vineyard and are devoted to exclusively producing the finest quality Shiraz
The philosophy at Braydun Hill is to do one thing well, and to excel at it. Experience gained at making hand made wines from fruit picked off hedgerows on the English countryside told Bradley-Dunn that Braydun Hill was the ideal grape growing site and lead to vines being planted in 1998. The vineyard is 10 beautiful acres of gentle north facing slopes on a rare patch of Paringa sandy loam over clay in the McLaren Vale, perfect for quality grape vines. The natural sloping of the Braydun Hill's terrain provides for quality ripening. The ocean breezes and maritime climate cool the summer sun and help keep the vines from the mildew and other diseases that more protected vineyards often suffer. This means that Braydun Hill's winemakers have never used any pesticides in the vineyard and have no need for artificial chemicals.
Braydun Hill has been a grazing property for many generations, and now both traditions continue, as the sheep are moved into the vineyard straight after vintage, where they stay until budburst in the spring. There are 10,000 top quality Shiraz vines on the property and a small additional vineyard of Merlot, permanent pasture between the rows provides good feed, and the sheep provide good natural fertiliser for the vines. The decision was made at the time of establishment to aim to produce top quality grapes of one variety, Shiraz. A number of vines were sourced directly from Don Oliverâ€™s vineyard in McLaren Vale, which produces grapes for Penfoldâ€™s iconic Grange.
Carol and Tony hold high standards of ethical working practices, and work hard to maintain an environmentally sustainable system within the Braydun Hill vineyard. They use no pesticides or artificial chemicals for disease control. Braydun Hill are devoted to exclusively producing premium quality shiraz, to maintain the highest standards of ethical working practices, and to maintain a clean, green vineyard.
Unlike many Australian wineries, Braydun Hill do not buy grapes grown by other people in other vineyards. All their wines are made from grapes grown in the Braydun Hill vineyard. Winner of many awards, including Winestate Top Australian Shiraz, Braydun Hill are very proud of their many accolades and achievements.
Carol and Tony have a quintessentially Australian sense of humour, and an equally impressive resilience in coping with disasters large and small. The couple built their home on an 8ha property next to the Onkaparinga Gorge National Park, overlooking South Australiaâ€™s McLaren Vale to the south and the Onkaparinga estuary and ocean to the west. There they bred a herd of fine-fleeced angora goats, winners of trophies and awards in various shows, including the Royal Adelaide Show.
However, the market outlook for mohair and breeding stock turned sour, forcing the couple to change direction. They enrolled in the viticulture course at Willunga High School, emerging two years later with their certificates. In 1998, they embarked on a program to plant 4 hectare of shiraz. Together they dug the trenches for the main irrigation lines, but as every grower knows, planting vines is the easy part, itâ€™s everything else that comes later thatâ€™s the killer. With weekend help from friends, they trained the young vines, grubbed out weeds and began making good wine. The first grapes were produced in 2001 and sold to Normans. Winemaker Beck Kennedy was so impressed with the quality the wine was kept separate, and when Normans went into liquidation in late 2001 (without having fully paid for the grapes), Dunn and Bradley were able to reclaim the wine and, by default, Braydun Hill Shiraz was born.
Combining the tradition of grazing and grape growing, Braydun Hill's philosophy is to maintain a clean and green vineyard without the use of pesticides or artificial chemicals for controlling disease. They move their sheep into the vineyard straight after vintage where they stay until budburst in the spring. Permanent pasture between the rows provides good feed, and the sheep provide good natural fertiliser for the vines. It is a credit to the wholistic philosophy and sustainable land management practices that Braydun Hill is capable of making such highly commended wines each and every vintage.
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