The Johnston family started their journey in the wine industry in 1892, with Alexander Campbell Johnston purchasing 250 acres in McLaren Vale, which at the time had 20 acres of Grenache and Zante Currants in production.
In the early 1980s, current Pirramimma custodians Geoff and Louise Johnston explored the considerable Adelaide Hills wine region, looking for the idyllic site to plant a cool climate vineyard that closely matched the temperature summations of Bordeaux.
In 1985 after a comprehensive search, throughout the Adelaide Hills, we selected a rugged rocky hilltop at Kuitpo, to plant our high altitude vineyard. The topography was perfect for grape growing, with top soil of shallow dark grey/brown loam, interspersed with lateralized Ironstone pebbles and pockets of quartzite, layered in the Kaolin yellow/brown mottled clay sub soil.
The picturesque Heritage Listed, Kuitpo Hills Vineyard was established in 1986, covering 20 Hectares of closely planted, low yielding Chardonnay, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. In 2012 we replaced the Semillon with Malbec, with cuttings coming from old mother vines which were planted in the 1960s. We are very confident the early ripening Malbec will excel in our environment and produce premium cool climate fruit.
Using compost, humates, microbes and nitrogen rich cover crops, we have embraced biological farming and sustainable practice.