WE NEEDED VINES
We started Yalumba Nursery in 1975 when we needed to replace vines at our Oxford Landing vineyard in the Riverland. We wanted to replant with grafted vines to help combat nematode and salt problems and get yields back up to sustainable levels. Finding quality grafted vine material proved difficult, so we decided to do it ourselves. With that decision Yalumba Nursery was borne. The Yalumba Nursery was first established on the winery grounds in Angaston, moving into a purpose-built facility in 2001. Initially the nursery only supplied the Yalumba vineyards, however soon our growers were asking for our vines and by 1982 Yalumba Nursery was supplying vines commercially.
It was around about this time that Yalumba Nursery began its variety and clone importation and selection programme. In the first 10 years of the programme Yalumba Nursery imported and evaluated many, many varieties and there were many, many failures (!), but there have been some obvious success stories including Viognier and the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Bernard clones from Burgundy. It was also during the 1980s that Yalumba Nursery - with the support of the CSIRO - pioneered the hot-water treatment of grafting material and vines and as a result Australia can lay claim to having some of the world's healthiest planting material free of damaging pathogens such as Crown Gall.
By the late 1980s and early 1990s the Yalumba Nursery embarked on an industry initiative to develop a vine quality accreditation scheme. Written together with the Orlando Nursery at Jacobs Creek, the base accreditation became the fundamental document generated by the Australian Vine Improvement Association (AVIA). Interestingly most of the specifications within this document today remain the same as in our original draft.
During the 1990’s the Yalumba Nursery grew rapidly in-line with the Australian wine industry and it became apparent that the facilities at the Angaston winery were no longer able to support the business and so the decision was made to invest in new facilities. Robin Nettlebeck led the project along with Nursery Manager of the time Simon Cowham. The aim of the project was to build a state of the art vine production facility and after 12 months of construction this was achieved with the facilities officially opened in September 2001. We are so fortunate to have these facilities and anyone that has passed through would attest that they are a key factor to our past (and future) success.
EXCLUSIVE ENTAV-INRA® AGREEMENT
In 2002 the Yalumba Nursery and ENTAV-INRA® signed a 20 year agreement to exclusively propagate and distribute the leading varieties and clones currently available in France. ENTAV-INRA® have the largest repository of clonal material in the world with over 350 registered varieties and 1160 registered clones. They have been consistently at the cutting edge of clonal selection and virus identification and elimination. Their focus has been on authenticity and the production of material for high quality winemaking.
In 2004 Yalumba Nursery set-up a small-lot winemaking trial evaluating Shiraz clones selected from old vineyards across the Barossa and Eden Valley. This trial has led to the release of four new clone selections; two from the Barossa Valley (BVOVS5 and BVOVS10) and two from Eden Valley (EVOVS3 and EVOVS12). These clones have since been widely planted are adding complexity and diversity to modern wine styles.
In 2007 Yalumba Nursery moved into the table grape market with an agreement with International Fruit Genetics (IFG) to propagate premium table grape varieties for the Australian market. Exciting new varieties such as Sweet Celebration, Sweet Sapphire and Jack's Salute are now available (under contract) to tablegrape growers.