The Island Estate Vineyards

Kangaroo Island is a new and relatively unknown wine region with enormous potential to produce fine wine. The Islander Estate Vineyards works to a vision to establish Kangaroo Island on the world map of fine wine. We do this by bringing to fruition the enormous viticultural potential the region offers and blending the results with French winemaking expertise to produce a range of wines with elegance and finesse, designed to last and stand uniquely amongst the best in the country.

When Jacques first discovered Kangaroo Island, he fell in love with the natural environment and recognised the perfect cool-climate viticultural conditions the region presented. He saw that it came with interesting challenges – immense variation in terroir: soils, rainfall, aspect, all of which influence the resulting wine. He selected a 280-hectare property in the the Kohinoor Hills near Kangaroo Island’s farming heartland which offered a combination of agricultural and vineyard potential, ideal north-facing aspect and elevation along with vast tracts of heritage vegetation.

Jacques established a 11-hectare vineyard with varieties he enjoyed working with around the world – Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Sangiovese, Shiraz, Grenache, Viognier and Semillon. Close spacing (5,000 vines per hectare) with vertical canopy was chosen for all the varieties except Grenache and Shiraz, which were planted in bush vines. This close spacing of vines limits the yield per vine to achieve greater concentration of flavour and phenolic compounds. The aim for production is 1kg of grapes per vine, per vintage.

At The Islander Estate Vineyards. Jacques’ winemaking expertise is expressed in creative ways – unrestricted by Bordeaux’s appellation. Here, he produces cool-climate wines representative of the region’s unique maritime environment.
“When I planted on Kangaroo Island it was with a well-defined concept of the wine style I wanted to produce. My reasoning was based on the selection of the soil, the climate, the aesthetics of the place, the method of production which does not compromise the quality, and the principle that a high-class wine must be the result of a natural balance of all its components.”

Favouring under-dog varieties often eschewed in his native Bordeaux, such as Cabernet Franc and Semillon which thrive in Kangaroo Island’s growing conditions, Jacques keeps the yields of these varieties low and employs winemaking techniques which bring out the best in these varietals.
All grapes are hand-picked and sorted, wild fermentation is used across our entire range of red wines, with ageing exclusively in French oak. Jacques considers blending of varieties to be a crucial element in creating great wine, providing him with the opportunity to pick the best of different grape varieties to create a more complete and complex final wine.
“The marriage of varieties makes it possible to better express the soil and create a unique style.”
Jacques’ winemaking philosophy is to allow natural acid and tannin to be the wine’s driving elements, with a focus on producing medium bodied wines of elegance and finesse – but built to last.