First labelled as ’Henschke Dry Red’ in 1958, fourth-generation winemaker Cyril Henschke wanted to create a full-bodied, yet approachable shiraz to complement his single-vineyard shiraz wines.
In 1967, following the trend of the day, Cyril made use of European references and renamed the wine ‘Henschke Hermitage’ for a more premium positioning of the high-quality shiraz wine.In 1972 the name evolved yet again to ‘Henschke Keyneton Estate’, in tribute to the Keynes family who settled in the village of Keyneton in 1842, and as a move away from earlier European references. This wine was labelled with Cyril’s distinctive black and silver label.
In 1980 Stephen, fifth-generation Henschke winemaker, and his viticulturist wife Prue, included cabernet sauvignon and malbec in the shiraz blend, creating a more savoury and food friendly wine, and in 1999, replaced the malbec with merlot, which was more reliable and provided lovely texture and softness on the palate.
Increased focus on the history and heritage of the Henschke family inspired Stephen and Prue to consider changing the name to ‘Keyneton Euphonium’ in 2001, recognising Stephen’s great grandfather Paul Gotthard Henschke who formed the first brass band in the district in 1888, the Henschke Family Brass Band. The family still have the original brass euphonium played by third-generation Paul Alfred in their care today.