The Skillogalee Estate
Our Home in the Clare Valley
Acknowledgement of Country
Ngadjuri people and Kaurna are the Traditional Owners of this region and have lived here for many thousands of years.
We acknowledge the traditional owners and occupiers of these lands and waters. We pay our respects to the Elders, past, present and emerging of the Ngadjuri and Kaurna nations and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Learn more.
Our vineyards were planted in the early 1970s on what was then, at almost 500 metres above sea level, one of the highest vineyards in South Australia. The rows are planted on the contour in shallow stony dolomite soils primarily on the steep eastern facing slopes.
The vines are hand-pruned and the fruit is mainly hand-picked. Yields are extremely low but the vineyard produces intense flavours and aromas and deep, richly-coloured reds. Kangaroos are regular visitors – and significant numbers can be found around vintage time, when the hills are dry and brown, camping in the vineyards and feasting on the succulent fruit.
"The wine is made in the vineyard and it's our goal to allow each variety to shine through and express the unique place they were grown."
The Skillogalee Estate
Vineyards And Soils
We grow a range of grape varieties on our single estate, including the classic Clare Valley grapes varieties of Riesling, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon – along with other well suited and traditional varieties including Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Muscat and some old Grenache vines.
The vineyards were skilfully established using traditional farming knowledge and planted to classic varieties suited to the terroir, with almost all the plantings dating back to 1970. The soils and aspect of the vineyard is ideally suited to produce low yielding, highly concentrated premium fruit. Sustainable vineyard practices are employed wherever possible.
There are numerous soil types throughout the Clare Valley, but on the Skillogalee Estate the soils are primarily sandy loam over red and brown clay with a substrate of dolomite rock. The proportion of sand, silt and clay in the soil composition varies dramatically throughout the estate, which means we have unique soil changes from one end of the property to the other. These well-drained soils mean our vines are deep-rooted to access stored winter water, and less vigorous meaning the vines produce less canopy and fruit but the fruit they do produce has deep complexity and flavour.
The Clare Valley
The Clare Valley wine region is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions with winemaking stretching back over 160 years. It lies in the beautiful Mid North region of South Australia around 140 km north of Adelaide.
Boasting a vibrant, diversified rural community with delightful rolling hills and natural vegetation creating beautiful landscapes, the area is steeped in South Australia’s early history.
Although the Clare Valley accounts for less than 5% of total Australian wine production, it has a well-deserved reputation for premium wines of excellent quality and consistency.
The climate is considered to be moderate and continental in style with altitude that runs between 400 and 500 metres. The temperature combines cool to cold nights and warm to hot summer days resulting in large diurnal ranges. The altitude combined with the climate allows wine grapes to ripen more evenly and slowly without producing high sugar levels and losing natural acidity. Rainfall is predominantly in winter and spring, and summers are relatively dry, with only occasional rain events, which obviates the need for frequent fungal sprays.
The valley where the Skillogalee property is located is one of the most picturesque in the while Clare Valley wine region. It was in the early 1840s when explorer John Horrocks settled Penwortham named after his home town in England.
Historically the Clare Valley’s predominant variety of grapes has been Riesling and is recognised as the variety’s Australian home. Principal red grape varieties are Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Mindfulness of the Environment
Skillogalee has twice been awarded the Winner of the Primary Industries and Regions South Australia Regional Wine Award for Sustainability.
Sustainability and the well-being of the environment are at the heart of everything we do. We believe it is our responsibility to leave the land better than we found it.
Our winery and vineyards are run in the most sustainable way possible. The vineyard is primarily dry-grown, we recycle all our organic waste, we process all our fruit in our purpose-built onsite winery and our aim is to produce authentic wines with minimal interventions retaining the integrity of the fruit.
Wines Styles and
Skillogalee has a small modern winery crushing only around 250 tonnes per vintage, giving us the opportunity to hand-make individual wines in small batches.
Fruit handling and vinification are undertaken using the best of traditional and modern technologies – modern winemaking techniques for whites, to preserve the fruit aromas and flavours, and more traditional techniques for reds – the use of open fermenters and basket pressing to maximise flavour and colour without over-extraction. We focus heavily on gentle fruit handling throughout and our winery hygiene programs are meticulous. In this way, we use the minimum amount of sulphur to keep wines safe from spoilage.
We Welcome you to
Explore the ways you can visit Skillogalee. From our award-winning restaurant, to the historic cellar door, to picking up a picnic basket and enjoying a moment on the estate. We welcome you to visit Skillogalee.