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Airline pilots make surprisingly good wine. Their appreciation of the sciences, a respect for the weather and a bird's eye view of the land, all invaluable to the winemaker's art. John Ellis would take every opportune weekend away from his regular New York Paris route, to pursue a passion for viticulture. He planted the first commercial Cabernet Merlot vines in the Hamptons and found time between trans atlantic flights to work vintages amongst the Grand Cru vineyards of La Bourgogne. Ellis ultimately made the great lifelong sea change in favour of our land downunder. He settled on a farmstead outside Leongatha, amongst the slow ripening pastures of Gippsland and established a vineyard called Bellvale... Placing pinot amongst the pastures»
Greg Melick embarked on the prodigal road to gambling and booze as a mere teenager, after winning the daily double at Werribee and spending the lot on good red wine. He ultimately returned to the straight and narrow, achieving the rank of ADF Major General, Senior Law Counsel, Master Wine Judge and Officer of Australia AO. Melick now grows his own, he remains besotted with les grands vignobles de Bourgogne, the illustrious Pinot Noir of Cote de Nuits and Cote de Beaune. There are few places in the world, more akin to the 1er Grand Cru style of Pinot Noir, than the temperate pastures along Tasmania's River Derwent. It was here in 2002, amongst the woodland idylls of the apple isle, that Melick.. Pressing matters in pinot noir»
David Wynn introduced cardboard wine casks, flagons and the Airlesflo wine tap to the nation. He is best remembered for re packaging the Coonawarra estate which bears his name and which endures as one of Australia's icon brands. Wynn was a master of his craft and studied oenology at the world renowned Magill wineworks. An astute marketer and talented blender, he also had a keen eye for the land, investing in the ancient John Riddoch fruit colony and planting vines on a challenging site, high atop the lofty latitudes of Valley Eden. Mountadam Vineyards were built from the ground up, with a view to crafting a limited range of well structured, weighty wines, defined by fuller palates and saline, mineral.. The legacy parcels of mountadam vineyards»
Sevenhill
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Sevenhill
The Jesuits Society of Jesus migrated to Australia from Austria in 1848 seeking a life free from religious and political persecution

They settled at a site called Open Ranges in the beautiful Clare Valley and established Sevenhill, the oldest existing winery in the Clare Valley. Initially the main purpose of the cellars was to provide sacramental wine for religious use and this has been ongoing. Sevenhill Cellars now produce white, red and fortified wines as well as sacramental wine.

Sevenhill

The Jesuits renamed Open Ranges Sevenhill because of their hope that the immediate area would become a centre of Catholicism for the North - another little Rome with seven hills. They even named the stream that flowed through the property The Tiber. Sevenhill Cellars are today nestled among the vineyards close to St Aloysius Church and feature a well tended grassed picnic area with tables, seats and shade trees. Sevenhill winery produces all its own fruit on 72 hectares of vineyard.

Twenty varieties of grapes are grown yielding an average annual crush of 450 tonnes. The wine is completely processed on the property including the bottling of the finished wine (35,000 cases per year). This is a far cry from the pioneering days of the first Jesuit winemaker Br Schreiner. He and Br Schneider built a wine press in 1863 capable of pressing a formidable load of 4 buckets of grapes at a time!

The production of altar wine today accounts for 30% of the winery's production. Made in the style of a sherry and in conformity with the requirements of Canon Law is sold to all Christian denominations in Australia for use in religious services. It is exported to India, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Guam, Borneo and Pacific Isles.

Sevenhill

In the history of Sevenhill Cellars, there have been 7 Jesuit Brother Winemakers. In September 1851 Br Schreiner bought some vine cuttings from Bungaree Station and planted them on the left hand side of the present road to the winery. This planting marks the beginning of Sevenhill Cellars and makes it the oldest winery in the Clare Valley. These vines were planted initially to meet the need for altar wine.

Brother John May SJ, Jesuit Winemaker Emeritus has been with Sevenhill Cellars since 1972. He was instrumental in building the winery up to the technologically advanced state of today. Winemaker Liz Heidenreich joined Sevenhill in 2005. Adelaide born and educated, 34-year old Liz has a wealth of knowledge and experience gained in Australia and overseas. "One of the historical treasures of Australia; the oft-photographed stone wine cellars are the oldest in the Clare Valley, and winemaking is still carried out under the direction of the Jesuitical Manresa Society, and in particular Brother John May. Quality is very good, particularly of the powerful Shiraz; all the wines reflect the estate-grown grapes from old vines!" -Wine Companion.com.au

Sevenhill