Timeline and distribution of Chardonnay clone ‘Gingin’
Arguably the most important clone of Chardonnay in Western Australia is what has become known as the Gingin clone (accession number IW576002).
Many acknowledge the unique attributes of this clone to being a key component to the success of the Margaret River region as a recognised and respected producer of some of Australia’s best Chardonnays.
Typified by its low yields, challenges in achieving ideal fruit set, hen and chicken (millerandage), loose and small bunches and powerfully rich wines with fine acid structure resulting in wines of both power and elegance.
The origins of this particular clone has been somewhat shrouded in mysticism with many local producers having their own beliefs on the source of this clone. In fact one of the most common questions DPIRD researchers have been asked is to explain the origins and early distribution of this important and uniquely Western Australian clone of Chardonnay.
Where time permitted, Research Officer Richard Fennessy has been interviewing senior industry members, corresponding with international grapevine improvement organisations and scouring through department and State archives collecting information that provides evidence to the origins of this important clone and its early distribution throughout the State.
To understand the origins of the Gingin clone we must first gain insight into the history of Chardonnay in California. The follow timeline attempts to set the background of key events in California involving Chardonnay (italics) before leading into the events in WA and Australia.
|1920 – 1933|| |
|Post 1945|| |
|1951 or 1952|| |
|1950s & 1960s|| |
|Feb – Oct 1955|| |
|1981 - 1982|| |
|1993 - 1994|| |
For more information contact Richard Fennessy on +61 (0)8 9780 6219.
Colin Gordon (DPIRD), Ian Cameron, Jim Campbell-Clause (AHA Viticulture), Cheryl Rogers, David Winstanley (Leeuwin Estate), John Brocksopp, Bob Cartwright, Nancy Sweet (FPS), Carole Lamb (FPS), John Barret-Lennard, John Elliott, Tony Devitt and Dorham Mann.
Sweet, N 2007, ‘Chardonnay history and selections at FPS’, Foundation Plant Services Grape Program Newsletter, November 2007, viewed 5 June 2017, http://fpms.ucdavis.edu/WebSitePDFs/Newsletters&Publications/GrapeNewsle...
Jamieson, W R 1977, ‘Improved planting material’, in Viticulture Principles and Practice, Western Australian Department of Agriculture – University of Western Australia Extension Service.