Prophet’s Rock

— About —



Planting began in the Cromwell Basin in 1991 in the subregion of Bannockburn, south of the town of Cromwell at the southern end of the valley. Felton Road, Mt Difficulty and such estates established there. From 1993 – Pisa, Lowburn & Cromwell began planting, these regions are situated on the SW and West of the basin.

Bendigo in the North East of the Valley started in 1997.The last to be planted of the major regions due to the steep slopes. It was a lot easier to plant on the flatter terraces on the West and South banks where Bannockburn, Cromwell and Lowburn are situated.



This subregion of Bendigo in the NE part of the Cromwell Basin has some superb terrior. A lot higher in altitude than other subregions yet doesn’t suffer as much from frost as the lower lying western banks where the cold fog rolls down from the Pisa range. The slopes are very steep in Bendigo which help to avoid any frost setting in.

Bendigo’s settlement, or station as it’s more commonly named began as a farming community but changed with the gold rush of the 1860’s. The rugged mountains of Bendigo hid large Quartz seams running through the Schist along with gold deposits. Due to the higher attitude and challenging terrain of Bendigo common techniques to mine for the gold were digging traditional mine shafts, many of which you can see today along with the stone houses of the mining families.

The landscape is very different to the mining areas in the South in Bannockburn where the likes of Felton Road and Mt Difficulty are situated. Here the miners used sluicing, the use of running water to break down gold-bearing earth, and a sluice box was used to recover the gold. In Bannockburn the hills look like a they have had been attacked with a hedge trimmer, flat tops instead of peaks fill the landscape, almost alien/moonscape. In ’terror terms’ it basically means Bannockburn has lots of different soils due to this method, the natural bedrock mixed with alluvial sois from the river and the hillside soils washed down in the sluicing.

Most interesting is the mother rock/soil composition of Bendigo vs subregion’s further south due to the glaciers. The terrace which Prophet’s Rock sits on was carved out by a glacier 650,000 years ago. This first glacier didn’t make it to Cromwell in the south, leaving those areas untouched. The glacier exposed the mother rock which was hard Schist. The Schist was then weathered and began decomposes becoming fine particles, eventually Clay (we are talking over a long period). Calcium particles within this Schist were released during this decomposition.

Because there is Clay it stopped the calcium being washed away creating a layer of calcium on top of the Clay. Then this changes to chalk/calcium carbonate = Pedogenic lime. The low rainfall of the Bendigo subregion (dry) also helped to retain this soil. This then gives a sandwich of clay/windblown topsoil, limestone and then more Clay.

In conclusion – The combination of Clay, Time and Dry climate = gives the possibility to create limestone in an area with no former sea. Pedogenic lime is formed by slow formation of time as opposed to the sea being forced up from below (Paris basin/Burgundy). It’s a lot younger than the classic limestone found in France. Iron oxide is also present in the sub region.



The Rocky Point Vineyard is further South than the Home Vineyard on the East bank and looks predominantly West towards the Pisa range. 250,000 years after the first Glacier, a second Glacier came which created a lot of the valley we see today. Rocky Point Vineyard, where Prophet’s Rock make their Riesling, Pinot Gris and RP Pinot Noir, has a very different soil composition than the Home vineyard. It never saw the first glacier so the top soil/rock remained intact. Only when this second glacier arrived was the soil removed and exposed the hard bedrock schist at the surface, hence it hasn’t had time to be weathered and broken down into pedogenic lime, it’s solid Schist.