By the Chalmers Family, Proudly Murray Darling
The Mother Block wines are the essence of the Chalmers story. They trace our history as growers, then makers, championing Italian varieties that are so suited to our climate, and to our lifestyle. They talk of our red sand and limestone soils and the big sky of our beloved Murray Darling region.
Our sustainably farmed Mother Blocks are not just the source of these wines, but also provide vine material to growers across the country.
Chalmers have always been firmly rooted in the Murray Darling region, from the start of Bruce and Jenni’s winegrowing to the 30-plus-year story of the nursery and the importation of Italian cuttings.
Those vines were planted as our Mother Blocks, giving us the privilege of being the first Australian growers to tend scores of varieties.
The Mother Blocks are also why we started making wine. At first, it was a tool for the nursery to show the potential of the varieties.
But once we started making wine, we realised they were delicious, with properties that didn’t otherwise exist here. We couldn’t help but keep making wine.
And we haven’t stopped.
Winemaking also taught us about the viticulture best suited to making great wine in hot climates. And that combined experience has helped inform climate-apt choices for the Australian vineyard of the future.
Over 1.5 million vines have been supplied to growers across Australia. And that number is growing.
Our Murray Darling base is in Merbein, where the family home, winery and vineyard are located.
And the Mother Blocks are still central to everything we do, making Australian-first wines as new varieties arrive – think Falanghina just a few years ago, and Nerello Mascalese coming up soon.
The Mother Block wines are a celebration of our region and the varieties central to the Chalmers story.
They are our way of showing that growing the right varieties in the right place and applying appropriate viticulture can deliver accessible wines of personality, presence and a sense of place.
The cooler vintage of 2022 has showcased the bright, fresh and crunchy elements of the varieties. Tangy lemon sorbet, zesty passionfruit, zingy pineapple and flourless almond cake.
It tantalises the tastebuds with the same mix of fruits from the nose, coupled with cool-stream cress, a nettle texture and a super-cool feel to finish.
BASED ON VERMENTINO AND FIANO WITH TOUCHES OF GRECHETTO, GRECO, GLERA AND PINOT BIANCO
2022 Skin Contact
A kaleidoscope of lemon and lime, coconut husk and Vietnamese mint. Fresh and zesty, you’ll want to be sitting on a desert island drinking this wine.
The palate shows all that skinsy phenolic grippy pulp and texture, along with soft herbs, melon and a little bitter twang that leads into zippy refreshing acidity.
BASED ON VERMENTINO, ANSONICA AND PECORINO WITH TOUCHES OF FALANGHINA, MOSCATO GIALLO AND NOSIOLA
Copper and ocean trout colour tones, with the nose elegant and pretty across aromas of rose petals, orange rind, quince paste and clove. The palate is easy, everything you want from a rosé, slippery and dry, textural, sugar and spice.
It’s defined with nice grip and an attractive almost Campari-like bitterness leading to a classic dry finish.
BASED ON SAGRANTINO, LAMBRUSCO AND VERMENTINO WITH TOUCHES OF DOLCETTO, GRACIANO AND NEBBIOLO
Raspberry, cherry, cola and plum, Szechuan pepper, poppy seed bagel and sweet liquorice.
It’s light on its feet with a sweet supple feel, lifted, pretty red berry fruits, raspberry jubes, moreish cured meats and a fine sandy texture and bounce… what’s not to like!
BASED ON SAGRANTINO AND NERO D’AVOLA WITH TOUCHES OF AGLIANICO, UVA DI TROIA, TEROLDEGO AND PIEDIROSSO
What makes it sustainable?
At Chalmers, sustainability is a holistic concept. Our Merbein vineyard and winery is certified with Sustainable Winegrowing Australia, and our goals are to improve soil health, minimize water use, employ renewable energy, nurture the environment, be smarter with consumables, be economically sustainable, and be ethically responsible in the community.
Our viticultural practices focus on soil health. For the past 15 years, we have increased the carbon content in our soils with applications of compost, mulch, humic acid, and seaweed.
As well as sequestering carbon, this greatly increases water-holding capacity and sustains beneficial microbial life.
We work hard to minimise our water use. We choose the right varieties and rootstocks for drier conditions and irrigate more frequently but with less to eliminate run-off. Managing under the vine is critical to reduce water competition.
Non-residual herbicide is the most effective and sustainable method, with no take-up into the soil or vine. Our vineyard uses 30–50% less water than the region’s average.
In a region that thrives on sunshine, using solar power is paramount.
We produce close to 100,000 kWh per year, which covers up to 50% of our power use for irrigation and winery operations.
Our vineyard, on Njeri Njeri Country, is home to diverse plant species, which are home to beneficial insects and other fauna and flora in a balanced ecosystem.
It is also home to 500+ yeast strains, indicating that we are not impacting the surrounding environment, but rather creating a healthier one.
Our wines are bottled in lightweight glass (25% lighter than the equivalent), using less energy to produce, less fuel to transport and leaving less glass to be recycled.
The labels are printed on 100% recycled material, and cartons are made of a lighter grade cardboard.
The team at Chalmers is our extended family, a big beautiful multicultural crew that tends our vines, picks our grapes, makes our wine and shares our passion for growing great vines and wine.
We couldn’t do what we do without them. Chalmers also supports the community through sponsoring the arts, schools, sporting associations, and various charities to help our region grow and thrive culturally.
We are proud of our heritage in the region, our contribution to the local economy, and our ongoing efforts to lift the value and perception of Murray Darling wine.
In our vision of sustainability, the economy of our business should not only allow us to invest in our vines and wines but also people and the environment.