The Skillogalee Estate
Our Home in the Clare Valley
Our single estate, which began as a small vineyard over 50 years ago, has now expanded to encompass around 55 hectares of vineyards on a 170-hectare (420-acre) estate. This picturesque property is surrounded by rolling hills and vast natural bushland teeming with native wildlife.
We cultivate a variety of grape varieties, including Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, and Muscat. Remaining family-owned, our vineyard is driven by our passion for producing high-quality wine that showcases its natural terroir. Grown sustainably and carefully managed, our grapes yield full-flavoured wines that have won numerous awards both in Australia and internationally.
The Unique Terroir Of
Our vineyards were established in the early 1970s at nearly 500 metres above sea level, making them some of the highest vineyards in South Australia at the time. The rows are strategically positioned on contour lines within shallow, stony dolomite soils, primarily on the steep eastern-facing slopes.
Our vines are hand-pruned, and the majority of the fruit is hand-picked. Despite extremely low yields, the vineyard produces intensely flavoured and aromatic wines, as well as deeply coloured reds. Kangaroos are frequent visitors, especially during the vintage season when the hills are dry and brown. They can often be found camping in the vineyards and feasting on the juicy 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 with minimal winemaking intervention.”
The vineyards at Skillogalee Estate were expertly established using traditional farming knowledge, with nearly all plantings dating back to the 1970s. Classic varieties suited to the terroir were chosen, ensuring a yield of suitably high-quality, concentrated premium fruit. We implement sustainable vineyard practices whenever possible to maintain the health and longevity of our vines.
Soil types throughout the Clare Valley vary, but at Skillogalee Estate, the primary composition consists of sandy loam over red and brown clay, with a dolomite rock substrate. The proportion of sand, silt, and clay dramatically changes across the estate, resulting in unique soil characteristics from one end to the other. These well-drained soils enable deep-rooted vines to access stored winter water, producing less canopy and fruit but delivering deeper complexity and flavour.
Historically, Riesling has been known as the Clare Valley’s most recognised grape variety, and the Clare Valley is widely regarded as the home of Australian Riesling. However, the region also produces other varieties, including internationally acclaimed Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon – with grapes from the Clare also being an important component of the iconic Penfolds Grange wine. Our single estate grows a range of grapes, including the classic Clare Valley varieties of Riesling, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as other traditional varieties like Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Muscat, and some old Grenache vines.
Nestled amidst the serene, wooded hills of the Clare Valley lies the picturesque Skilly Valley, our cherished abode, and the home to the Skillogalee estate. This enchanting region, which has a rich history predating European settlement, is now synonymous with the renowned Skillogalee name, to become more affectionately known as the “Skilly Valley.”
The captivating beauty and distinctive terroir of the Skilly Valley create an idyllic setting for our estate vineyards. Rolling hills, lush vineyards, and scenic landscapes converge to provide the perfect backdrop for our vines. Here, amidst this natural splendour, our grapes thrive, basking in the gentle warmth of the sun and the cool nights that grace the valley, resulting in grapes of exceptional quality.
The Skilly Valley’s climate is defined by cool, crisp conditions, creating an ideal environment for grape cultivation. The grapes grown here embody remarkable character and innate vibrancy, contributing to the distinct identity of Skillogalee wines. With a harmonious balance of sunshine, rainfall, and the influence of the surrounding hills, this region nurtures the grapes to develop their unique expressions, resulting in exceptional wines that have gained widespread acclaim.
The Clare Valley is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions, with over 160 years of winemaking history. It is located in the beautiful Mid North region of South Australia, approximately 140 km north of Adelaide. The area boasts a vibrant, diverse rural community, with rolling hills and natural vegetation that create stunning landscapes steeped in South Australia’s early history.
Although the Clare Valley produces less than 5% of Australia’s wine, it is renowned for premium wines of exceptional quality and consistency.
The Clare Valley has a moderate continental climate, with an altitude ranging from 400 to 500 metres. The temperature is characterized by cool to cold nights and warm to hot summer days, resulting in large diurnal temperature ranges.
The altitude, combined with the climate, allows wine grapes to ripen evenly and slowly, without producing excessively high sugar levels or losing natural acidity. The region experiences rainfall mainly during winter and spring, with relatively dry summers that require only occasional rain events, reducing the need for frequent fungal sprays.
Skillogalee has been awarded the Primary Industries and Regions South Australia Regional Wine Award for Sustainability twice. Sustainability and environmental well-being are at the core of our philosophy. We recognize it as our responsibility to leave the land in better condition than when we found it.
Our vineyards and winery are operated sustainably. We primarily dry-farm our vineyards, recycle all organic waste, process our fruit in our on-site winery and aim to create authentic wines with minimal intervention that maintain the fruit’s integrity.
Wines Styles and
At Skillogalee, we pride ourselves on our small-scale, modern winery that crushes only around 250 tonnes of grapes per vintage. This allows us to handcraft artisanal wines in small batches using both traditional and modern techniques for fruit handling and fermentation.
To preserve the delicate fruit aromas and flavours of our white wines, we use modern winemaking techniques. For our reds, we utilise more traditional methods such as open fermenters and a basket press to maximise flavour and colour without over-extraction. Throughout the winemaking process, we place a strong emphasis on gentle fruit handling and meticulous winery hygiene programs. By doing so, we’re able to use minimal amounts of sulphur to keep our wines free from spoilage, resulting in truly exceptional wines.
We invite 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 invite you to visit Skillogalee.