“A significant vintage for Hill of Grace, as the last 2015 red to leave the Henschke cellar, and a wine that delivers on every ounce of its promise and then some … A collector’s dream.”
— 100 points, Nick Stock, JamesSuckling.com, April 28, 2020
Low on the surface of the southern hemisphere in the Eden Valley, a small vineyard timelessly cycles through the seasons as earth, a 6,000 billion-billion metric ton rock hurtles through space. Circled by a satellite once called ‘Luna’ by the ancients, the earth completes an orbit of the sun each year. Spinning on its axis, one side of the planet is lit up daily by the sun, before rotating to night where the only light is reflected from the face of the moon.
The forceful waltz between the earth, the sun and the moon, drives cyclical annual and diurnal rhythms – the change of seasons, day and night, and the ebb and flow of tides caused by the gravitational draw of the moon on earth’s moisture.
The impact of moon cycles on planting, nurturing and harvesting – the moon’s ascendency in the sky and its phases from new to full moon – has been handed down through those connected to the earth for millennia. With such natural practices, the Hill of Grace vineyard has been nurtured by Henschke ancestors for over one hundred and fifty years.
So what happens under the moon’s domain? The nocturnal world comes alive. Humans retire, butterflies are replaced by moths and the chortling of kookaburras becomes the low-pitched call of tawny frogmouth owls. In the cooling more humid air, vine leaves stop harnessing the sunlight’s energy and break down the day’s stored sugars, creating magnificent flavours, colours and tannins. Enzymes jiggling from sunlight exposure relax and begin to unscramble, ready for the day to come. Roots come alive, reaching maximum growth, slowing with the dawn as starch reserves are depleted.
The critical one hundred and twenty nights from flowering to harvest allow the Hill of Grace shiraz vines to replenish as they ripen. Mysteriously most vintages whether they arrive early or late, including the 2015, are ready for harvest close to the full moon after the Autumn equinox (Easter). Decades of vintages have shown that this is the optimal time in the moon cycle for harvest. Curiously, by the calendar, the date of Easter can vary by up to thirty-five days.
We like to visualise the grace of the harvest moon underlying the luminosity of the 2015 Hill of Grace with its purity of aromas, depth of flavour and silky lustrous tannins – a majesty and a mystery that takes our breath away with its grandeur.
2015 Hill of Grace & Riedel Fatto a Mano Glassware
Two limited-release Hill of Grace black stemmed Riedel Fatto a Mano Syrah crystal glasses and three bottles of 2015 Hill of Grace.
The Fatto a Mano collection is a stunning range of varietal-specific wine glasses with colourful handmade stems using traditional Venetian techniques. With its handmade stem and base, ‘Fatto a Mano’ combines the crafts of the past with today’s technologically-advanced, machine blown techniques.