"It's a vineyard designed for the vines rather than the tractor. There's no compromise in creating the ideal environment for the vine or its fruit." Erl Happ
The site of the Three Hills Vineyard was selected after years of research by Erl Happ into the relationship between climate and the character of the wine delivered. The data he collected led him to the decision that the Southern extremity of the Margaret River region was the ideal location to establish Happs new vineyard.
In 1994 the purchase of property on Brockman highway began our exciting journey at the Three Hills Vineyard.
Since then we have farmed the property with a holistic philosophy. The treatment of the soil is essential and we minimise the use of tractors in the vineyard as they cause soil compaction. We do not use any herbicides or pesticides and really on organic methods to maintain vine health. All of our grapes are hand picked.
Year planted: 1994
Hectares Planted: 30 hectares
Tonnage: ~160 tonnes
Climate: Mediterranean climate with strong maritime influences from having the ocean on three sides
Soil: loam with underlying laterite
Irrigation: Dry grown
Annual rainfall: 510mm
Vintage: Mid February until late April
Picking: 100% handpicked
Trellising: Up on over lyre
Number of Varieties: 32
Every Grape is hand-picked
We designed a new trellising arrangement to maximise fruit and leaf exposure. The increased air flow allows fruit to ripen fully and reduces disease pressure. This reduces the need for chemical pesticides and allows us to manage our vineyard holistically.
The structure of this trellising means that grapes must be harvested by hand. Every single grape, regardless of the end product, is hand-picked. It's a vineyard designed for the vines rather than the tractor.
No compromise is made on securing the ideal environment for the plant or its fruit.
Exploring the Range of Possibilities
In 1994 we planted 32 varieties in an effort to discover what performs best in the cooler ripening environment of the deep south of Margaret River. We found that many varieties previously thought to be unsuited to this climate excelled with our grape-growing methods.
Currently the Happs Three Hills Vineyard has more varieties than any other winery in Western Australia. Some of our varieties include: Grenache, Shiraz, Mataro, Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Nebbiolo, Shiraz and many more.