There are currently two small vineyards at Riverhouse. The original “river” vineyard contained many varieties as a trial to determine the initial most suitable varieties for the area. Once this question had been settled, plantings were commenced for the “hill” vineyard.
The river vineyard was planted beginning in 2000 on the valley floor, in a small block that slopes gently to the north. Here the soil is a heavy, mineralised loam, with good moisture retention. After the 2009 bushfires, the vines have not been irrigated. Here, night temperatures are lower and frosts are more severe in winter. The season generally progresses later than the hill vineyard, sometimes lagging by up to three weeks from the hill vineyard, which is only a few hundred metres away.
The hill vineyard was planted progressively from 2011 onwards, and is still gradually expanding. The vineyard is situated about 30 metres above the valley floor, on a steepening north-east slope. Soil is thinner, with rock closer to the surface in a few places. Irrigation is a necessary back-up during dry summers for this exposed position. Vine rows and spacings are quite close, and terracing is required for machine access. Four clones of Pinot Noir, three clones of Reisling and two clones of Shiraz, on carefully selected rootstock, produce variation of flavour in each separately-fermented batch, giving the winemaker more variations to produce the final wine.