Vineyard selection is critical to producing fine wine, which is why our winemakers only choose the best fruit from the best sites across South Australia.
Adelaide Hills Vineyards
The Adelaide Hills, with its cool climate and long, dry and even ripening season, allows vines to develop maximum varietal characters, producing intensely flavoursome fruit. The Adelaide Hills produces some of Australia’s most elegant Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot noir, gaining international recognition as a key region for these varieties.
Fruit for our Adelaide Hills wines is sourced from David and Sue Cherry’s (nee O'Leary) Adelaide Hills vineyard and the adjoining vineyard of Mark and Louise O’Leary; this is the original 'Wyebo' property that was purchased by David O'Leary’s grandfather in 1912, and has since become the namesake of some of our favourite drops.
This site was planted in 1990 and selected on the basis of its soil structure, which has large quartz and slate running throughout the subsoils. With a gently sloping, north-easterly aspect, enhanced by elevation, ancient soils and weather patterns - characteristic influences from the Mount Lofty Ranges - this vineyard is a valuable asset to the winemaking at O’Leary Walker.
Discover our finest Adelaide Hills wines, including our cool climate Shiraz, award-winning Sauvignon Blanc and the 'Hurtle' Sparkling, which holds a special place in the heart of winemaker Nick Walker.
Clare Valley Vineyards
The Clare Valley has a world-renowned reputation for producing superb Rieslings. We source our fruit from two sub-regions within the Clare Valley, Watervale and the Polish Hill River Valley.
The Watervale fruit is from the vineyard of Neil and Heather Grace, which is hand-pruned and handpicked. With its classic red loam over soft rock soil, the vines have a source of moisture from the soft rock to ensure their health through the summer months.
Running parallel with the Clare Valley is Polish Hill Valley; we source fruit from two vineyards, virtually next door to each other. Martin and Joan Smith’s vineyard is now farmed organically and across the road is the Molloy’s vineyard, both of which are excellent examples of the quality this subregion can produce.
The soils are characterized by grey loam over sandstone and slate. The topsoils are littered with rock and shales of slate. The vines are tough to survive in these harsh soils but their fruit bears the characteristics of elegance, finesse and intensity - and always with a hint of beautiful chalky talc. Despite only being nine kilometres from the Watervale subregion, the Polish Hill River region is significantly cooler and the fruit typically ripens two to three weeks later. It is the slate of the Polish Hill River as distinct from the soft rock of Watervale that creates the differences between the wines.
We also produce the majority of our red wines in the Clare Valley, from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec to a number of rich, full-bodied Shiraz styles. Our most premium offerings are hand-picked from established sites in the Valley, for example 'The Sleeper' Shiraz, made from 88-year-old vines with terrific concentration, and our 'Claire' Reserve Shiraz, crafted from fruit dry-grown on Shiraz vines over a century old.