Ron’s 70th Birthday and 46th Barossa vintage
Ron’s love of wine has kept the Liebich family making wine at Rowland Flat for over three generations. The 2016 vintage will be Ron’s 46th as an artisan producer of richly flavoured wines from grapes nurtured on the property. Ron recently celebrated his 70th birthday and is still just as passionate as when he started his winemaking career after graduating from Roseworthy College in 1969.
Ron’s winemaking story…
Ron was working in the extended family winery, Rovalley Wines, run by his Uncle “Darkie” Liebich in Rowland Flat. He would make every wine style including sparkling Charmane, Crouchen Riesling, Claret, Sweet Sherry and Cobweb Tawny. When the business was sold in 1985, he was able to purchase a house and farm on Steingarten Road continuing to run the vineyards with his wife Janet. With winemaking in his blood, Ron couldn’t resist making small batches of wine each vintage to mature in barrels, while dreaming of one day starting his own winery. By 1992 this dream became reality when the shed was built to begin Liebichwein Cellar Door Sales.
The 40 acre Liebich property sits off the valley floor on rich biscay soils catching cool gully breezes and escaping any frosts. Initial vineyard plantings included Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling. Ron’s love affair with grapes is so great he quickly grew to nurturing 14 wine varieties, as well as growing over 15 types of table grapes for personal use.
Ron is a quietly spoken man and likes to let his wines speak for themselves. He loves the flexibility of being able to make small batches in a wide assortment of wine styles. Ron prefers nature to do most of the work to see how terroir is reflected in the wines. Experimentation is key in recent years as he’s got to know how to deal with growing and vinifying alternative varieties such as Tempranillo, Petit Verdot, Mataro and Viognier.
Over the years, Ron has become most well-known for bold fruit-driven red wines and is one of the Barossa Valley’s best producers of fortified wines. Liebichwein cellar door has become popular with fortified lovers of all ages. Ron is also known for offering valuable advice on storing and ageing home barrels. The fortified range draws on museum stocks dating back to the 1940’s and includes blends of various ages made from Muscat, Semillon, Frontignac, Grenache and Mataro (also known as Mourvèdre) grape varieties.
What the Barossa means to Ron…
Ron enjoys continuing the long history of our family making wines in the Barossa Valley. He loves how the Barossa climate is suited to producing a variety of styles which customers really appreciate tasting at our cellar door. His passion for maintaining fortified winemaking traditions is so strong he has run an annual Home Barrel Competition in conjunction with Fortified Fest events at the winery.