Their first official release, the 1986 Shiraz, was made in a couple of open fermenters on the property with the help of friends. Michael decided early to focus on terroir, there being so many varied soil types and geologies within proximity of his home base. At Radford Road (Seppeltsfield) The Creek Block is planted on alluvial clays, Alices vineyard on Yudnamatana siltstone and Seven Acre – schist siltstone. On the Roennfeldt Road block at Marananga, Apricot Block sits on ferruginous loam while the ancient plantings of Shiraz & Cabernet (100+ years old) were planted on ancient rubble and quartzite.
In the 80s the concept of terroir was widely laughed at in Australia but it was a decision that paid off. With help from luminaries Robert O’Callaghan, Chris Ringland and Michael was soon fashioning and being lauded for several terroir driven and distinctly different Barossa Shiraz. As a result, he is considered a modern pioneer of Terroir in the Barossa and has been much emulated. By 1994 the Waughs had purchased their Roennfeldt Road vineyard and worked hard to improve trellising, soil, and vine health.