In 1979, a young couple purchased a rundown vineyard in the heart of Vine Vale in the Barossa. As it was a labour of love, Dennis Canute and sixth generation Barossa grape grower Christine refused to accept the tragic vine pull at the time. Instead, they decided to rejuvenate the old Shiraz and Grenache grandfather vines. However, the now-famous Rusden name was only born in 1987 when they rejected having to supply their fruit to large companies that paid a pittance. Their attitude was, “we’ll grow the quality, you grow the quantity!”.
That little plot, known as Vine Vale, may just be one of the most versatile and consistent grape growing districts on the Barossa’s prized valley floor. Measuring just four by one kilometres, it is completely covered in deep, white (beach-like) sand over clay. This gives the wines an elegance and a delicacy not normally associated with the region. These enviable soils bear a great resemblance to those at the hallowed Château Rayas in Châteauneuf-du-Pape (albeit without the stones). The clay helps with water retention which has allowed the vines to survive even the most brutal of the Barossa’s droughts.
As a disciple of Rockford’s Robert O’Callaghan, next-generation grower/winemaker Christian Canute is incredibly proud of this unique vineyard and makes sure its personality speaks clearly through each wine that bears the Rusden label.
As the custodian of such a unique vineyard, Christian understands that the lifeblood of his family’s future is in his care. Everything is done by hand. His practices result in the least amount of impact on the vineyard and everything is continually being recycled. Nothing is wasted.