Lenswood Vineyard

In 1981 Prue and Stephen purchased a 13-hectare property at  Lenswood, in the Adelaide Hills region, with the intention of eventually redeveloping it as a vineyard. 


Cool-climate Innovation

Covered in apple, cherry and pear trees, the property had steep slopes and stunning views towards the older vine country. On this higher, cooler site, Stephen and Prue planned to implement their learnings from Geisenheim Wine Institute and produce wines inspired by those they had tasted in Europe at that time. Their research and development here would also be used across the older Henschke vineyards in the Barossa and Eden Valleys.


Devastation and Regeneration

Initially Prue maintained the property as an orchard. However, the devastating Ash Wednesday bushfires of 1983 engulfed the fruit trees. Blackened tree stumps were removed and rows of pinot noir, chardonnay, riesling, merlot and cabernet sauvignon were planted over the 13ha property.

Late 1980s

Clonal Trials

Prue spent years painstakingly trialling different clones of chardonnay, riesling, pinot noir, merlot and cabernet sauvignon to find out which would perform best on the site. These clonal trials included pinot noir (there are eight: MV6, D5V12, G8V3, G8V7, Pommard and the famous Bernard clones of 115, 777 and 667, imported from the Burgundy area); chardonnay (seven clones: I10V1, I10V5, Antav 84, 277 and the Burgundian Bernard clones, B95, B96, B76); and merlot (three: D3V14, R6 and R8).


Archer’s Vineyard

Stephen and Prue purchased an adjacent vineyard also planted in the early 1980s by a like-minded winemaker, thereby expanding their vineyard to 27ha. The vines they planted here were primarily chardonnay and pinot noir, as well as gewürztraminer, semillon, pinot gris and grüner veltliner.

Lenswood Vineyard Today

Through thirty years of hard work, the Lenswood wines have become known for their purity and intensity of flavour. The slower ripening conditions retain a high natural acidity that gives balance, greater mouthfeel and ability to age.

Lenswood was tested as a research and development site in 2019 after another bushfire raged through the hills, leaving blackened vines everywhere. Two weeks later however, 33mm of rain fell over the Adelaide Hills and despair turned to hope when green shoots appeared. A regeneration program was painstakingly developed, the fire damage was cleared, new posts were installed, and the young shoots were set to climb fresh trellising. Stephen and Prue hope to be back to normal production by the 2025 vintage.

Wines from the Lenswood vineyard include the sparkling pinot noir Johanne Ida Selma Blanc de Noir MD, Green’s Hill Riesling, Percival’s Mill Grüner Veltliner, Croft Chardonnay, Giles Pinot Noir, The Alan Reserve Pinot Noir and Abbotts Prayer Merlot Cabernet.


Lenswood - central Adelaide Hills. 25km east of Adelaide. 50km south-west of Henschke Cellars at Keyneton. Situated at the top high north end of the apple-growing valley, extending 1-2km north and south from Lenswood.


Chardonnay, riesling, pinot noir, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc, gewürztraminer, semillon, pinot gris, grüner veltliner. Planted between 1982 and 1987.


Well-drained sandy loam over medium clay interspersed with shale fragments overlying a shale bedrock.


Trellis: Vertical Shoot Positioned, Scott Henry
Planting: 1m-1.5m x 2.5m
Treatments: Permanent sward, incorporating organic and biodynamic practices.
Rainfall: 1134mm
Altitude: 550m
Latitude: 34° 54'
Longitude: 138° 50'
Aspect: North, east, south and west
Size: 13ha (32 acres)


Chardonnay, semillon, riesling, sauvignon blanc, gewürztraminer, pinot gris, grüner veltliner, pinot noir, merlot and cabernet sauvignon.