Our botanically trained viticulturist, Prue Henschke, has been recognised for her commitment to sustainable viticulture and careful management of our ancient Hill of Grace vines the 2021 Vineyard of the Year Awards.
The Vineyard of the Year Awards were founded to shine a light on Australia’s best vineyards and grape growers, recognising sustainability, innovation and the pursuit of vine health and wine quality. The online ceremony was hosted by esteemed wine writer Max Allen, revealing our Hill of Grace Vineyard as the 2021 ‘Old Vineyard of the Year’.
The judging panel consisted of Max Allen, Lee Haselgrove, Dr Catherine Kidman, Dr Mary Retallack and Mark Walpole.
“Henschke’s Hill of Grace Vineyard is arguably Australia’s most famous and most revered, with an enviable resource of ancient and very old vines, and a signature of site that threads though the wines that is undeniable. It’s not an operation solely resting on the past, though, with Prue Henschke planning decades in advance by propagating vine material from the “Grandfathers” to one day make the top grade for the ‘Hill of Grace’ bottling. It’s an investment to not just preserve this iconic site for future generations, but also to maintain everything that makes it so special – from soil to vines. Add in tireless manual farming that employs some biodynamic practices with a focus in soil health and biodiversity – both in the vineyard and on the surrounding land – and Henschke are worthy winners of the Old Vineyard of the Year trophy.” – Vineyard of the Year Awards
“Being a dry-grown vineyard, the under-vine mulching has made the biggest difference to the quality of the fruit. The permanent swards keep the beautiful sandy topsoil in place, giving us well-balanced vines and a cooler atmosphere during the ripening period of summer. The depth of colour and tannin maturity has improved in the wetter blocks by the adoption of vertical shoot-positioned canopies, and each year, we see that distinct five-spice, particularly star anise, character in the wine.” – Prue Henschke, viticulturist