ABOUT TEN MILES EAST
We firmly believe great wines are grown, not made.
On our nine-acre estate, tucked within a valley just off Old Norton Summit Road on the way to Basket Range, we focus on growing small quantities of exceptional quality grapes.
Using only these estate-grown grapes, we create six small-batch wines, handmade in the European way we fell in love with while travelling the world.
In another nod to the travel we adore, our range features an Arneis (an Italian variety) and a Saperavi (a Georgian variety), along with the more traditional varieties of Syrah, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc.
We run the estate while splitting our time between Australia and our home in the United Kingdom. Many told us this would be impossible, that we’d be crazy to even try it. But we believe anything’s possible in this day and age.
We believe less is more. That’s why we focus on growing grape varieties best suited to our estate’s particular microclimate and soil.
We keep irrigation to an absolute minimum, pay close attention to the health of each individual vine and use practices that go easy on the environment.
Our wines are made gently, without rushing.
We use wild ferments, a slower, less aggressive process that better preserves each grape’s flavour, and steer away from mountains of additives. We then allow our wines to collect themselves with time on lees and, when suitable, extended skin contact.
And we produce very limited amounts, especially of our reds – often not more than a barrel or two of each. The result is small, handmade batches of unique and incredibly fine wine.
Our estate was once an apple orchard, and our winery the Mould family's Auldwood Cider Company factory, pumping out flagons of cider each year.
Then, in the early 2000s, Taiita’s extended family bought the property and planted it over to vines. Seven different varieties across five acres, to be exact.
The place was named Ten Miles East, because the estate is exactly ten miles east of Adelaide’s General Post Office.
In 2013 we jumped at the chance to put our own stamp on the property we’d grown to love.
Quality over quantity became our mantra.
We spent a small fortune bringing balance to the vines and canes, pruning each one individually by hand over several years. We slowly wound back the irrigation, transitioning to longer yet more infrequent soaks rather than short weekly blasts, encouraging the roots to dig deep into the water table. We grafted some poorly performing Carménère over to more Syrah. And we dropped bunches, sacrificing higher yields in favour of more concentrated fruit flavours.
These days, our Syrah vines are actually so low yielding that if we were to make a decision based on economics alone, we’d probably rip them out. We make only one or two barrels each a year, barely enough to fill 700 bottles.
But the resulting wines are so worth it – tiny amounts of the best wine possible, which is exactly how we want it.
James and Taiita Champniss
Ten Miles East owners and winemakers