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Milestones for Winemaker Ron Liebich

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.

Winemaking Philosophy…

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.


Highlights from Ron’s 70th Birthday Party

SBA Ron Muscat barrel

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Home Barrel Competition 2015

After a year or two off and many customer requests this fortified wine judging competition returns in Winter 2015. The competition is open to all home barrel owners Australia-wide. The competition started as part of Fortified Fest events where we celebrated Liebich family fortified winemaking traditions. Wines will be judged in a blind tasting by experienced palates.

Ron has always encouraged budding home blenders to bring in samples to cellar door get his expert advice on how to improve their blend to suit their personal preferences, be it Tawny, Muscat or Semillon or combining different varieties and ages.

Entries are due by 14th July and announced on 26th July at a special event in the Barrel Shed. All entrants receive tasting notes and comments on their blend.

Download competition entry form here.

_DSC3340_DSC3344FF judge 1 sml

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Event Wrap Up: Fortified Fest

Once again, we cleared out the sheds to host this annual event with pop up wine bar, band on stage and mobile food vendors. We were all glad for the shed space as the day was a cold blustery day in late June.

We had our most diverse range of food yet which pleased young and old. Popular Adelaide food truck Sneaky Pickle served up a tasting plate of a mini pulled pork bun and beef brisket burger with fried and fried pickles on the side. Alexandrina Cheese Company  trekked all the way from Mt Compass to offer cheese tastings, platters and cheeses to take home. And for sweets, Little Dot Bake Shop returned after a successful outing at our 20th Anniversary celebration with divine sweet indulgences. There was also a stall selling quality dried stonefruit from the Riverland (the same used in our drunken fruits).

Music was provided by the local trio Finnigan who kept the crowd swaying with a good mix of folk and country with an Irish twang. Children were kept amused by a master animal balloon maker. There were two fortified workshops hosted by Ron to highlight the developing flavours of our four different grape varieties. A sensory skills quiz was prepared to match various odours with their descriptions.

Thanks to all who assisted with this huge event and to everyone who attended! It was fantastic to see so many new faces and to hear that people had travelled far and wide.

See more photos

FF13 pickle van 1 FF13 workshop 4a

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Winter Event: Port and Pickles

We are ready to celebrate the annual Fortified Fest on June 23. FF-Poster-2013 finnigin

Our revered port style wines will be served along with current release wines at the pop up wine bar.

Food will be served all day by mobile vendors including:

  • Sneaky Pickle  – serving American style hot smoked meat sangas like Pulled Pork with Fried Pickles and Onion Rings on the side
  • Alexandrina Cheese Company  – coming all the way from Mt Compass to offer cheese tastings, platters and cheeses to take home
  • Little Dot Bake Shop – returning after a successful outing at our 20th Anniversary celebration with divine sweet indulgences

Local trio Finnigin will provide the soundtrack to the day.

Once again, we invite you to participate in a rare barrel fortified tasting workshop to hear tips from Ron, the Fortified Dr. These are 30 minute sessions run between 12-3:30pm.

And don’t forget the popular home barrel competition. Entries are NOW OPEN to all barrel owners Australia wide.

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Port Barrel Competition Open

Calling all budding port blenders and barrel owners…our annual home barrel competition is open for entries from now until June 23. A fantastic chance to get your wine judged by experts and gain specialist advice from Ron. The winner gets their name engraved on the sought after dipstick trophy and a winery voucher.

Entries are open Australia-wide and cost only $5 per entry. The wine can be any fortified style or grape variety e.g. Tawny or Muscat.

How do I enter?

Send us at least 150mL without spilling a precious drop. All entries must be labelled clearly with your contact details and wine info such as approx. age, barrel size, grape variety etc.

Please drop the sample off at cellar door, bring along to Fortified Fest or if you can’t make it please post samples to:


PO Box 916

Rowland Flat SA 5352


Be in it to win it!


Ron presenting dip stick