The vineyard has 29.12 hectares under vine and was first planted in 1995. In recent years, non-Chardonnay vines have been grafted or replanted, and now only Chardonnay and small amounts of Pinot Noir are grown. The site is significantly lower in altitude than other areas of the Margaret River wine region at 25-40m above sea level. (Vasse Felix’s Home Vineyard in Wilyabrup is 80-110m above sea level by contrast.) The earth is sandy loam with a deep top soil over calcium clay.
A Serendipitous Discovery
The Idée Fixe Vineyard is located in Karridale, in the deep south of Margaret River. Constantly exposed to the biting cold winds of the Southern Ocean, this cloudy and humid site and its unique deposits of calcareous soils lends itself to the elegant, expressive Chardonnay of a distinctly Margaret River Blanc de Blancs.
THE CHARDONNAY CLONES
The Blanc de Blancs journey began in the vineyard’s ‘D Block’ with an unexpected, but serendipitous discovery. A block of established vines assumed to be Margaret River’s prized Gingin Chardonnay clone was ‘littered’ with a mix of champagne clones. Delicate in fruit power and high in natural acidity, the mysterious clonal selection proved perfect for making a Margaret River Blanc de Blancs. Subsequently, these Chardonnay clones have been propagated throughout the vineyard. A total of nine clones are grown.