Pirramimma Wines find Grundfos is good to the last drop

Pirramimma Wines has a proud tradition stretching to 1892. As one of oldest family wineries in South Australia’s famed McLaren Vale region, a large part of Piramimma’s reputation rests on producing the finest grapes in their 130 hectare vineyard.

A critical aspect of the winery's grape production is reliable irrigation, which depends on a Grundfos SP46 submersible pump located at the bottom of a bore 78 meters deep. This pump has proved its reliability over more than 20 vintages and a recent service established that it should continue operating smoothly for many more years.


Pirramimma Wines is a premium winery in one of Australia leading wine producing regions. First established in 1892, the winery is now under the stewardship of a fourth generation and produces a range of red, white, sparkling and fortified wines.

The Kuitpo location was chosen for its similarities to the famous wine growing region of Bordeaux, in France. However, without access to water for irrigation, winemaking would not be possible. Winemaking is a subtle alchemy of terroir, climate, season, and the winemaker’s personal talent for blending and ageing. However, no winemaker would argue that the fundamental requirement for an excellent vintage is excellent grapes.

To maintain the quality of their grapes, Pirramimma Wines irrigates the vines using water sourced from a 78-metre-deep bore.

When rainfall is low, water is pumped out of this bore and fed into a dam from where it is sand and fine-screen filtered then distributed throughout the vineyard. To ensure a reliable water supply, current Pirramimma owner Geoff Johnston had a GRUNDFOS SP46-12 installed in the early 2000s and it has performed reliably ever since. However, groundwater in the region is known to be very high in iron, and carries a destructive iron bacteria which had eaten through more recently installed galvanisedpiping after just four years. So Geoff contacted his local GRUNDFOS dealer, Andrew Payne of Southern Bore & Pump Services, to arrange replacement.


After seeing the depth of the bore and the effort required raising the pump, Andrew recommended that it was serviced while it was out of the ground – even though Geoff Johnston had never experienced any problems with it.

In fact, the pump's motor was confirmed to be in perfect working order, even after two decades in a harsh environment, and Geoff was sure it would provide many more years of reliable service. While the Southern Bore & Pump team prepared new stainless-steel piping for the bore, the SP46 pump was sent to the GRUNDFOS service centre in nearby Adelaide for servicing. Again, the 304-grade stainless steel was found to be in excellent condition. GRUNDFOS technicians simply replaced the shaft and installed a new wear parts kit. Performance testing confirmed that the pump met the specifications of a brand new unit.

The pump was then returned to Pirramimma Wines and re-installed in the bore – now connected to equally durable stainless-steel piping.

"GRUNDFOS provides very reliable, pumps that have been Pirramimma Wines’ go-to choice for my entire life. For the GRUNDFOS pumps at Pirramimma that work through the whole irrigation season, we simply follow the recommended service schedule with a rebuild every 5 years as preventative maintenance."

Mr. Geoff Johnston
Owner, Pirramimma Wines, Kuitpo, South Australia


Having been given a routine service for everyday wear, Geoff Johnston’s original GRUNDFOS SP46 12-stage pump has now been returned to the bacteria-rich environment of this bore. He is sure the pump will continue to provide reliable service for many more years.

Andrew Payne believes a GRUNDFOS pump was originally selected because the brand is widely known for quality and reliability. “GRUNDFOS has a very good name among customers and this pump shows you why,” he says.

"In my 23 years of dealing with GRUNDFOS, I have always found their pumps to have an exceptional lifespan and this pump's successful servicing is another example of why GRUNDFOS is so highly regarded in our region."