Learn about our vineyards in the Eden Valley, Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills.

Eden Valley

The Eden Valley region was established by Charles Crane in 1866 around the nearby North Para River system and is home to our most renowned Henschke vineyards, Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone.


In 1838, chairman of the South Australian Company, George Fife Angas, commissioned mineralogist Johann Menge to explore the area and on receiving his promising reports, purchased the seven surveys of the Barossa Range. This began a trend of larger land holdings, among other English settlers, one of whom was Joseph Gilbert. Gilbert established the first vineyard, Pewsey Vale, on his property in Eden Valley in 1847. 
Henry Evans, son-in-law of George Fife Angas, soon followed in 1853 at Evandale, near a village known today as Keyneton. Sadly upon his death in 1868, Henry’s wife Sarah followed her temperance convictions and had the winemaking grapes either grafted over to currants or removed and replaced with apple trees. 
While over a century has passed, many of the vineyards in Eden Valley still remain with these early families. 


The Barossa Range lies in the southern Mount Lofty Ranges, and runs north-south. Eden Valley lies within the Barossa Range and consists of river valleys and undulating hills covered with large gums, rocky outcrops and Aboriginal sites. Eden Valley is a high-altitude region of between 400-500m, compared with the Barossa Valley's elevation of 200-300m. This higher altitude, with its later ripening pattern (one to two weeks difference), results in more distinctive varietal flavour characteristics and higher acidities, due to the increased continentality. Altitude is important in determining mesoclimate, or site climate, although aspect and slope are also important in this varied, hilly terrain. Therefore, Pewsey Vale at the southern end of the valley, (at 500m), is considerably wetter and cooler than the Henschke vineyards around Keyneton (at an elevation of 400m). Overall, the growing season temperatures are significantly lower than those of the Barossa Valley, with the final stages of ripening taking place in much cooler conditions. The higher vineyard sites are generally better suited to white varieties than red. 


Annual rainfall is about 700mm with 178mm falling between October and March. The frost risk is slight and the mean January temperature is 19°C. Soils are mainly sandy loam over clay-weathered rock subsoils, which cover a schist/silt sandstone bedrock often containing ironstone gravels, quartz gravels and rock fragments. In the valleys the soil is deep, while on the hilltops it is shallow and rocky. 


Semillon, riesling, gewürztraminer, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, nebbiolo, barbera and tempranillo.


• Hill of Grace Vineyard 

• Mount Edelstone Vineyard 

• Cyril Henschke Vineyard 

• The Wheelwright Vineyard 

• Eden Valley Vineyard 


Barossa Valley

The Barossa Valley region, from which Henschke sources some of its fruit, is often referred to as the valley floor. Stretching from as far north as Truro down to Williamstown in the south, it hugs the Barossa Range and pushes westward past Greenock and Seppeltsfield.


Many Silesian families arrived in the Barossa in 1842, looking to escape the reforms ordered by the Prussian King to the traditional Lutheran service to which they were devoted. They purchased or leased land in Bethany and in a style similar to that of villages back home, established narrow strips of property along a main road with access to fresh water. 
Known as a Hufendorf settlement, this system of town planning was also adopted in Lobethal in the Adelaide Hills when Johann Christian Henschke settled there in 1841. The new Barossans experimented with various crops such as tobacco, wheat and barley, but soon realised the potential for grapegrowing. and tThe region developed rapidly and now has over 10,000ha of vineyard. 
The Barossa Valley is well known for shiraz, grenache, mataro and semillon as these varieties are very well suited to the conditions of the region. 


The Barossa Valley has an average elevation of 274m, which is considerably lower than the Eden Valley’s 400-500m. The Barossa Valley region covers a vast area of particularly fertile soil eroded into the region from the Barossa Range, which is evident by the concentration of vineyards compared to the more isolated vineyards of the Eden Valley. The Barossa Valley generally has consistently warm temperatures day and night which helpss to create ideal ripening conditions for the fruit. This also brings harvest dates one to two weeks earlier than the higher areas of the more continental climate of the Eden Valley. 


Annual rainfall is approximately 550mm, providing drier conditions than the Eden Valley, and the mean average temperature in January is 21.7C. Soils vary from grey and brown clays to red-brown earths and yellow sands. Research conducted on the soils of the Barossa helps to define the terroir, which assists in site selection for grape varieties, particularly the newer European varieties that have emerged. 


Cabernet sauvignon, grenache, mataro and shiraz.


• Mataro Mass Selection Block 


Adelaide Hills

The Adelaide Hills wine growing district is a 70km swathe of the south Mount Lofty Ranges stretching from Mount Pleasant in the north to Mount Compass in the south.


Historically grapes were grown very early in the establishment of the Adelaide Hills. The earliest record of South Australia’s first commercial winemaking enterprise was John Barton Hack, who established an acre of vines at his Echunga Springs property near Mount Barker in 1839, and produced his first wine in 1843. In 1844 a case of his wine was forwarded to Queen Victoria. Records show that the vineyard continued to operate until at least 1856. German immigrants also arrived in the Adelaide Hills and planted vines at Hahndorf and Lobethal around 1842. 
The vine disease oidium (or powdery mildew), which first appeared in 1872 and spread rapidly, was particularly expensive to control. 
In 1876 when a crop of wine grapes may have brought a grower between £9 and £12 per acre, Thomas Hardy quoted the annual cost of three applications of sulphur at more than £1 per acre. 
The resurgence of viticulture in the Adelaide Hills came about in the 1970s, when the Verralls at Glenara established vineyards in 1971, and Petaluma in the late 1970s. Other producers such as Knappstein, Weaver and Henschke entered shortly after, followed by Cootes, Seppelt, Ashton Hills, Kuitpo Vineyards, Gumeracha Vineyards and more. These producers have proven that the Adelaide Hills offers a diversity of microclimates to suit a range of wine styles from sparkling wine to premium quality table wine. 


The Adelaide Hills can be categorised into warmer and cooler subregions.

The Piccadilly Valley is cooler than elsewhere in the region and quite humid, which has a unique effect on the vineyards. It has the lowest heat summation, and since it is located directly behind Mount Lofty, it often has a band of cloud or fog, while the rest of the region is bathed in sunshine. This makes it well suited to sparkling wine production.

Harvest dates for different varieties suggest later ripening at Piccadilly than elsewhere in the region. There is a north to south trend with harvest dates from Mount Pleasant to Piccadilly, and a south to north trend from Kuitpo to Piccadilly. Therefore, the centre point for late maturity appears to lie in the Picadilly/Ashton area, with the coolest temperatures, highest rainfall and highest altitudes of the south Mount Lofty Ranges.

The warmest slopes facing north are capable of producing grapes of table wine composition, while the coolest slopes are best suited to sparkling wine.

Lenswood has been known for the quality of its apples for decades and since the early 1980s it has also become known as a premium winegrowing area. Warmer than Piccadilly Valley and with a greater heat summation, it has the ability to ripen early varieties in most years. The varieties that have proven to be the most successful are riesling, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir and merlot.

Further north the temperatures tend to become warmer, which is consistent with the corresponding decrease in altitude and rainfall and therefore there is a tendency to earlier ripening and higher sugar levels. As the Adelaide Hills is mountainous and so diverse, the aspect and soil type can also have a dramatic and major effect. The northern slopes are favoured to encourage earlier ripening, and well-drained soils decrease vigour. Unless vigour is controlled, many other viticultural problems are created, such as dense canopies, shading and, poor exposure.


The region can be classed as cool, moderately maritime, moderately sunny and moderately humid. The undulating and steep sloping terrain around Lenswood minimises frost risk and the altitude and protected sites reduce the chance of a heat wave during the summer. Harvest dates range from mid-March to early April for pinot noir, and the end of April to early May for Riesling and Merlot. Annual rainfall is between 700-1200mm. Soils vary considerably and include well-drained sandy loam with shale fragments overlying clay, weathered schists, skeletal quartzites, sandstones and podsols of varying fertility. 


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


• Littlehampton Innes Vineyard

• Lenswood Vineyard

Our Vineyards

As one of Australia’s oldest family-owned wineries, Henschke has been making wine in the Barossa’s Eden Valley wine region since 1868. The Henschke family winemaking tradition now spans six generations, with vineyards in the Eden Valley, Barossa Valley and Adelaide Hills, including acclaimed single vineyards, Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone.