A magical spot where you feel on top of the world.
This view is high up in the Barossa Ranges between Steingarten Road and Trial Hill Road. The ‘Steingarten’ (meaning stone garden) vineyard was planted in the 1960’s by the Gramp family who were inspired by the narrow vineyards planted on stoney ground in areas of Northern Germany.
To see for yourself, ask in cellar door for directions and you’ll be blown away (quite literally in winter) in only a few minutes drive from our cellar door.
Spring in the Barossa is one of our favourite times of year. Everything is freshly renewed as vines take shape and form bushy leaf growth – a sight to behold.?Vineyards are looking so pretty with shades of green everywhere. Cover crops appear between vineyard rows and roses start to flower along the end of rows. The Barossa Ranges slowly change from bright green to yellowy brown as temperatures move from crisp chills to warm sunny days. It’s such a delicate time of year for grape growers and winemakers. Budburst kicks in and we watch conditions that help shape the quality of the fruit for next vintage.
For the last 9 years we have been fortunate to host a posse of agricultural students from Universities in France.
Our latest intern, Augustin, worked with us for 3 months between July and September 2018. His family are rice growers in Carmague, Southern France, and he attends a University in Toulouse.
Augustin’s assistance in every aspect of our business was much appreciated from doing jobs in the vineyard, winemaking support, bottling, labelling and serving cellar door customers. Augustin was a real asset on our biannual trip to the Eyre Peninsula Field Day where he helped with filling a never-ending stream of bulk fortified containers.
We have been fortunate to visit previous interns in France a few years ago. Hopefully we can visit again soon to see Augustin, meet his family and sample more French wines and cheese.
Vintage 2018 for Liebichwein has been another solid season for quality with yields slightly lower overall.
There was an even mild growing ripening season with some bursts of heat early in Summer that made us a little nervous about quality. Grapes started ripening almost two weeks earlier than usual and we commenced picking in the first week of March. Some of the varieties used for fortified like Frontignac and Semillon don?t hold up so well in the heat, so these got picked earlier than usual. A long extended dry period into April allowed Grenache to hang on until we could pick at full-flavour and colour, though the crop was down a little.
On the whole, fortified wine stocks are in good supply and now maturing slowly in barrels. A few reds are maturing in barrel and there were no white wines made this year. As an aside, the table grapes we grow for personal use were of excellent quality providing us with fruit from January to May.
Is it coincidence that Lindsay Head’s number was 17 (famous South Australian footballer in the 60’s), and therefore Ron’s favourite number?
Vintage 2017 has been the best year that Ron?can recall since 1996 in terms of weather, quantity and quality of all types of fruit on our property, not only wine and table grapes.
The start of harvest was like a return to ‘normal’ and not 3 weeks early as in recent years with such hot summers. Vintage threatened to finish early, before a cool damp spell gave way to an Indian summer, which extended the season and improved the quality and flavour of the subsequent wine. Ron is particularly happy with the 2017 fortifieds to keep bulk stocks topped up. He even crushed some Shiraz for a one off vintage fortified wine.
It was a nice change to have picking spread out from mid March into the first week of May. This meant a chance to enjoy the Barossa Vintage Festival.