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Yalumba is Australia's oldest family owned winery, founded in 1849 by Samuel Smith, who immigrated from Dorset in 1847 (he was a master brewer in England), naming his winery Yalumba an Aboriginal word for “all the land around”. The winery is situated in a small town called Angaston in South Australia's Barossa Valley, about an hours' drive north-east of Adelaide. In 1893 third generation Fred Caley Smith embarked on a grand voyage of scientific discovery, returning with progressive horticultural developments which laid the bedrock of sustainable viticulture and winemaking at Yalumba today. Their outstanding flagship “The Caley” Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz blend pays tribute to this adventurous ancestor. The blending of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz is a distinctly Australian practice and since the 1800's Yalumba have pioneered this method, which is represented today in their “The Signature”, first produced in 1962. They remain fiercely independent, now owned by the sixth generation of the Hill-Smith family. The winery has its own on-site cooperage; Yalumba is in fact the only winery in the Southern Hemisphere to enjoy this privilege. Yalumba specialise in Viognier, a fragrant grape variety which was nearly extinct in 1965 with just 8 acres left in the Northern Rhône, only 30 acres across the whole of France and, by 1986, only about 80 acres remained in the entire world! Yalumba championed the variety when it came to their attention in the 1970's, when Yalumba's chief winemaker was visiting the Rhône Valley. He was so captivated by it that on his return to Australia he planted 1.2 hectares in Yalumba's back yard; these were the first significant plantings of the variety in Australia. Now it's a real speciality at Yalumba, who make six different wines in their Viognier collection, and the variety has made a comeback with around 6,000 hectares cultivated worldwide.
Yalumba are committed to sustainability, they have the largest solar system in any Australian winery and have won 43 accolades globally for their sustainable practices. They farm with as little interference as possible and have Sustainable Winegrowing Australia accreditation and ISO14001 certification. A minimal intervention approach is taken in the cellar with native yeasts utilised for fermentation, and all of their wines are 100% vegan-friendly. Yalumba draw on the Barossa Valley, Eden Valley and Coonawarra for their grapes. The Signature Vineyard, in the Light Pass subregion of the Barossa Valley, is planted with 16 different clones of Shiraz and 5 different clones of Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a contemporary site designed to allow for climate change for the next 100 years. Light Pass has a unique red soil over limestone terroir. The Steeple Vineyard, also in the Light Pass subregion of the Barossa, is farmed both organically and biodynamically. The Tri-century Vineyard was planted in 1889, and boasts some of the oldest Grenache vines in the world, spanning more than 3 centuries. In the Eden Valley Yalumba farm two vineyards: The Mexican Vale Vineyard is where the fruit comes from for their flagship “The Calley”; the High Eden Vineyard which is planted at 535 metres above sea level on lean and gravelly soils is under vine with cool climate Shiraz, Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and their prized Viognier. In Coonawarra the Menzies Estate Vineyard, comprised of 8 individual vineyards, is dedicated to Cabernet Sauvignon, with small blocks of Merlot and Malbec. No two vineyards are alike, and each offers its own unique flavours and textures. As there was previously no definition for “old vine”, a term which could be misleading and open to interpretation, in 2007 Yalumba introduced its Old Vine Charter. For them an “Old Vine” means vines that are equal to or greater than 35 years of age. “Survivor Vine” is equal to, or greater than 70 years; “Centenarian Vine” is equal to, or greater that 100 years and “Ancestor Vine” is defined as a vine that is equal to, or greater than 125 years of age. So at Yalumba you know exactly what you are getting! This historic winery produces an impressive portfolio of wines with genuine regional personalities. Their logo is their marble and sandstone clock tower, a solid monument of their commitment to the region – Yalumba are a national treasure!