Step Rd was established in 1985, the members of the team share a passionate desire to produce world class wines reflecting the essence of their regions. It is home to two of Australia's most outstanding wine brands, Step Rd and Beresford. Established as a premium wine grape producing region as far back as 1860, Langhorne Creek is one of Australia’s oldest wine regions. Situated 70 km south east of Adelaide this stunning area is surprisingly cool due to its proximity to the Southern Ocean. Made up of largely flat plains sheltered by the Mount Lofty ranges with low winter-dominant rainfall and moderate daytime temperatures. The grape quality is enhanced by deep, rich alluvial soils, washed down by floods from the Adelaide Hills over the centuries. It is renowned for its reds, in particular Shiraz and Cabernet, which show great character, style and elegance.
Step Rd source fruit from the finest vineyards in South Australia. The classic combination of high altitudes in Adelaide Hills, 400-500m above sea level, high winter rainfall and cool summers, produce fruit of supreme quality. Shallow, shaly soils, washed by centuries of rainfall, ensure low yielding vines, with intensely flavoured fruit. Long, cool ripening periods, with night-time temperatures as low as 3-4°C, allow fruit flavours to develop and concentrate to their optimum level. Showing elegance and finesse, undoubtedly this region produces some of Australia’s finest white table wines.
The Step Rd winery was built with dual goals, wine quality and environment protection. A 5,000 tonne winery its layout and operation were designed for efficiency and resource, and to be mindful of the occupational health and welfare of the staff, and the environment. All liquid waste is stored in plastic-lined dams to prevent seepage into the precious water table, before being treated to remove damaging chemicals and salinity, then recycled as irrigation on the vineyard.
Similarly, all solid waste of skins, stalks and seeds are mulched and returned to the vineyard to enhance and improve the soil, as well as reducing the irrigation requirement by up to 25%. Step Rd Winery is not only the pinnacle of winemaking quality but is at the forefront in the conservation of the environment and that extremely valuable and diminishing resource, clean water.
Step Rd produce some exceptional, well balanced, fresh, fruit driven wines and skilful blends showcasing the best Australian varietals including Crystal Brook, Katherine Hills and Trig Point. The extensive knowledge and experience of the growers and winemaking team has been garnered over many years working with some Australia’s iconic wineries including Wirra Wirra, Hardy’s Tintara and BRL Hardy.
The small but passionate team bring a mix of local and global winemaking expertise. The philosophy is simple, to act as caretakers of the fruit, to understand and realize the full potential of the grapes which come into the winery and produce wines with structure, style and balance. A close consultant to Step Rd, Stephen Pannell is one of Australia's foremost winemakers, he has made some of Australia's most memorable wines and has worked alongside numerous overseas vintages at places such as Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Chateau Mouton Rothschild and G.D. Vajra in Barolo. Other highlights in Stephen’s career include winning the title of International Red Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine Challenge in London, winning the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show, twice winning the Max Schubert Trophy at the Adelaide Wine Show as well as being listed as one of the 50 most influential contributors to the world of wine by Decanter Magazine.
Warm summers, moderate winters, dominant winter rain and low humidity characterize McLaren Vale's Mediterranean climate. This outstanding region has a world class reputation for Shiraz with its wines renowned for ripeness, elegance, structure, power and complexity, making a consideration of Mclaren Vale fruit a must for the Step Rd winemaking team. The superb warm climate of the Riverland, commitment to viticultural quality through worlds best practise in irrigation, clone selection and vineyard management techniques, lead to the production of generous fruit driven wines. In particular Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Harvests of full flavoured fruit which in the best vintages, can find their way into Step Rd wines.