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About


Tolley Viticulture is owned by Simon Tolley, whose family history features links with the wine industry dating back to South Australia’s early years of settlement.

Simon's ancestors began trading in wines and spirits in Adelaide in 1874. In 1892 they developed vineyards at Hope Valley near Adelaide, known as Tolley Wines. An observer at the time noted that it was a beautiful vineyard ‘some hundred acres or more in extent’. More than 100 years later, Tolley Viticulture is continuing a tradition of viticultural excellence – growing in markedly different and often more challenging mesoclimates.

Tolley Viticulture operates from its 27-hectare family vineyard at Woodside in SA’s Onkaparinga Valley (Adelaide Hills). It delivers professional management contract services to owners of vineyards from Kuitpo to Mount Torrens. Contract management in other regions can be contemplated, by negotiation.

A client relationship with Tolley Viticulture opens doors to Simon’s excellent relationships with Australia’s major grape buyers seeking access to the Adelaide Hills’ best wine grapes.

Vineyard Management


The ERO Grape Harvester

Environmental Solutions

Vineyard management today is a demanding professional skill. Done well, it allows vineyard owners to achieve their most desirable annual objective – delivery of the finest fruit in the best possible condition, whatever the environmental challenges or vintage conditions.

Adelaide Hills fruit is in high demand, but its vineyards are challenging to manage because of topography and climate. Simon has been professionally managing vineyards for over 15 years and enjoys an excellent reputation for delivering ‘best quality’.

Contract Services


Some owners seek only seasonal services, but others want hands-on care of their sites all year round. This is the approach preferred by Tolley Viticulture. It allows the establishment of ‘best practice’ management approaches through all four seasons.

Tolley Viticulture works with clients with land soon to be dedicated to new vineyard acreage (design, trellising), or neglected vineyards, where cordon removal or vine grafting to new varieties and/or new trellis design might lift productivity and profitability.

‘Best practice’ services include machine harvesting and pruning, spraying (recycle spraying, fungicide and herbicide), and skilled technical advice. All aim to reduce labour costs and improve vineyard productivity. Tolley Viticulture only invests in vineyard machinery where vineyard efficiencies can be gained.

Machine harvesting
Tolley Viticulture uses a state-of-the-art ERO diesel harvester, featuring low running costs and intelligent design (fewer working parts: higher efficiencies), reducing soil compaction and reliance on ancillary equipment.

Machine pruning
ERO, Side-mounted – Fast and clean – slices labour costs to a minimum.

Machine fungicide application
FMR- Features a recycling capacity (reduced chemicals costs), less time to apply (lower labour costs) and defined spray targets (reduced fungicide drift).

Vineyard development or redevelopment
An old vineyard can be brought back into fruitful production with Tolley skills through either grafting, re-working old cordons or altering trellis designs. The results can be surprising – and profitable.

Spreading
1.5 tonne Marshall Spreader (ameliorants lime/gypsum and fertiliser), and banding and broadcasting.

Eutypa or ‘Dead-arm’ management
Eutypa impacts vineyard returns and is common in the Adelaide Hills. The best possible management techniques are used to reduce its spread.

Technical services
Monitoring of pests, diseases, soil moisture, yield estimations, bud, petiole leaf sampling, advice on plant nutrition and soil structure improvement, backed by supply of organic-based materials.

Horse fencing
A special service provided to local clients during winter (May to September).

Managed clients receive monthly reports, monthly budget-versus-actuals figures and can discuss seasonal progress anytime. All contracts feature cover by all types of insurances, including professional indemnity.

Experience & Expertise


Experience

Contract clients look for appropriate viticulture qualifications backed by strong experience in growing top quality grapes in well-managed vineyards across Australia’s regions.

Simon holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Viticultural Science, 1998).

For some years Simon Tolley worked in vineyard development in the Padthaway and Naracoorte regions (lower South East, SA). He also gained technical experience at Taylors Wines (Clare Valley, SA) and Sandalford Wines (Margaret River, WA) and managed vineyards in the Clare Valley and McLaren Vale regions of SA.

He worked at Nepenthe Wines (Adelaide Hills), both in a technical role and later as contract services manager and Adelaide Hills regional manager.

Expertise

The best vineyard management advisors listen closely to the wants and needs of property owners and understand the way vine varieties respond to variations in climate and vine management techniques: soils, trellising, canopy management and cropping, among other things.

Adelaide Hills fruit is acknowledged for its world-renowned quality. Its vineyards require more demanding management approaches by comparison to other warmer, drier and less undulating Australian grape-growing regions.

As with vineyard owners the world over, everyone seeks the lowest operating costs – but not at the expense of the health and productivity of their sites. Contemporary Adelaide Hills grape growing under Tolley Viticulture relies not only on a judicious mix of high-tech machinery and technology, but also cautious, hard-earned judgement about how nurtured vines can deliver great grapes – whatever the vintage. Tolley Viticulture’s philosophy is that ‘a vineyard is managed as if one was looking at it through a shop front window – everything within is for sale anytime, therefore must always look its best no matter whatever the time of the year.’

Simon Tolley’s full-time employees have minimum Level 3 TAFE trade viticulture qualifications, and most have many years’ experience in the industry. All are licensed operators and understand key Hills’ issues, especially cool-climate viticulture. It’s also vitally important to understand local viticultural practices; for example, spray safety management in a high-density vines-per-hectare environment whose neighbours may be very sensitive to what occurs nearby.

Tolley Viticulture enjoys significant business links with DJ's Growers Supplies (Woodside). This allows for continuity of agricultural supply in seasons when continuity is crucial.

Testimonials


Andrew Nugent, Founder / Director
Bird in Hand Luxury Brands

"Simon is a class act. He posses a rare ability in modern Australian viticulture, in that he has a strong agricultural understanding and is able to combine this with the ability to understand luxury wine culture and production. An asset to the Bird in Hand Winemaking Team."

Jan Siemelink-Allen, Managing Director
Barristers Block Premium Wines

“Proficient and efficient, Simon always makes me feel he has both understood my requirements and respected my decisions and choices! As a woman in business dealing with many contractors, I have found Simon to be both a gentleman and a considerate contractor. I would recommend Tolley viticulture without hesitation”

Sam Atkins, Managing Director
Atkins Family Winemakers

"Atkins Family Winemakers have worked closely with Tolley Viticulture since their inception, with Simon and his team managing our 45 hectare vineyard and property at The Range in The Adelaide Hills, since 2007. Tolley Viticulture have an amazing attention to detail and understanding of both the opportunities and challenges our unique industry holds. Tolley Viticulture are more than just a Viticulturist or Vineyard Management Company, they are an important business partner of Atkins Family Winemakers from paddock to plate."

Murdoch Hill Wines

"I have known Simon for over 20 years and his father and family for over 50 years. We have had a fantastic relationship with Simon. His help in the vineyard has been so supportive and he feels like part of our family, and nothing is too much trouble for him and Narelle. All work is carried out in a most efficient manner and he has a good relationship with his staff. Nothing is ever rushed, which creates a good working atmosphere with everyone concerned. On the viticulture side his knowledge is equal and if not better than anyone in the Adelaide Hills. Having worked at another hills contactor has given Simon the experience and confidence to set up his own business (Tolley Viticulture). Dealing with the large wineries with Simons’ help makes the liaison so much easier and creates a trust with all parties involved in grape sales, spray diaries. etc Basically I could not speak more highly of Tolley Viticulture."

Reefton Ridge Vineyard

"Tolley Viticulture has managed our vineyard Reefton Ridge since 2008. During that time they have managed all aspects including viticulture operational needs and winery contract negotiation on our behalf. The level of service that they provide is excellent and we have the utmost trust in how they manage our vineyard. In fact we sometimes comment that we could go over seas for 2 years in the comfort that the property would be well managed. In addition Simon and Narelle's approach is a very personal one. They understand what we want and are very focussed on achieving a good outcome for us. We have no issues in recommending Tolley Viticulture."

Contacts


Tolley Viticulture Pty Ltd
46 Drummond Road, Woodside South Australia 5244
Tel: 0400 710 677 Simon@TolleyViticulture.com.au