Sandy and Helen Haig established their vineyard in 1982 on Square Mile Road in O.B. Flat with plantings of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Further plantings included Cabinet Sauvignon and a Cellar Door facility was opened in 1992.
David and Lilija Quill (adjoining Haig’s) planted their first vineyard in 1987 also with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Terry and Helen Strickland planted their first vines at Caroline Hills in 1988 with the intention of making their own wine. The commercial vineyard began the in 1995 with initial plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
Subsequent plantings have concentrated on Pinot Noir, with clones, D5V12, MV6, 114 and 115. In 2005 another 1.2 hectares of Pinot Gris was added to the existing 4 hectare vineyard.
Most of the local grapes have been sold to larger wineries at Coonawarra and Padthaway and further plantings in and around Mount Gambier have taken place in approximately the last 10 years.
Lisle Pudney established 5 acres of Pinot Noir in 1996. Lisle has now planted approximately 100 acres and adjoining properties will soon take the vineyard area in this location to 2-3 hundred acres the fruit being contracted to the major wine companies.
Tom Ellis from Coola Station has made a significant investment in planting his vineyard across the road from Lisle Pudney, ensuring that the Kongorong area has the greatest concentration of vineyard area in the region.
There are now approximately 20 Vineyards producing fruit in the Mount Gambier area from Nangwarry South to Kongorong and West to Glencoe. Eight local vineyard owners have now obtained producer's licenses and are producing wine under their own labels, the latest being Peter and Sue Trajanoski at Moorak with Noske Wines.
Mount Gambier is quickly making its name for premium red wines including Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and the white grape varieties chardonnay, Riesling, Viognier and Sauvignon Blanc.
Mount Gambier Wine Region Varietal Summary 2011
(Source: Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board)
Derived from registered vineyards.
Sauvignon Blanc 91.98 hectares
Chardonnay 36.81 hectares
Pinot Gris 20.80 hectares
Riesling 5.12 hectares
Semillon 1.24 hectares
Viognier 1.2 hectares
Pinot Noir 71.43 hectares
Cabernet Sauvignon 12.77 hectares
Merlot 1.27 hectares
Cabernet Franc 0.08 hectares
Shiraz 0.07 hectares
Number of growers 20
Number of Vineyards 20