Over 155 years of history
Hill of Grace is surely one of the most evocative phrases in the world of wine. It is a translation from the German ‘Gnadenberg’, a region in Silesia, and the name given to the lovely Lutheran church that overlooks the vineyard. The 4ha single-vineyard shiraz planting is situated at the historic village of Parrot Hill 4km north-west of Henschke Cellars.
THE ROLL CALL OF CUSTODIANS
The story of a unique single vineyard
The first vines on the Hill of Grace vineyard were planted by Nicolaus Stanitzki. The villagers built a beautiful church that same year, naming it Gnadenberg Lutheran Church, in tribute to a region in their homeland.
Paul Gotthard Henschke purchased the vineyard. After his death in 1914, his sons and executors Paul Alfred and Julius Philip Henschke arranged the transfer to Julius Philip, who had married Ida Maria Magdalena Stanitzki, a granddaughter of Nicolaus Stanitzki. On Julius Philip’s death in 1928, the property transferred to his widow.
The property was purchased by Louis Edmund Henschke, son of Paul Alfred Henschke and brother of Cyril, who worked the vineyard and property for nearly 40 years.
Cyril Henschke created the first Hill of Grace in 1958 from shiraz vines at Hill of Grace vineyard, up to 100 years old. The exceptional quality of the wine combined with the charm of the name captured the imagination of consumers.
Hill of Grace Vineyard Today
In our viticulture today we are blessed to be able to apply the practical wisdom and knowledge passed down from past generations alongside the benefits of our international learnings and research.
In a dry-grown vineyard on its own roots, Prue has observed the benefits of mulching, composting and the use of permanent swards including native grasses, to build up the health of soils and preserve soil moisture.
The inclusion of biodynamic principles in our vineyard management gives a twofold benefit – replacement of inorganic fertilisers with compost and the exclusion of herbicides. Manure from the cows and eggshells from the chooks together with the recycling of the grape marc combine to produce compost to enrich the soil, which in turn produces great wine.
Planting local native plants provides nectar to attract beneficial insects and helps with pest and disease control. The influence of the moon cycles has always been an important and familiar feature in the operation of the Henschke vineyards, with the Hill of Grace vineyard always being picked just before the harvest moon of Easter.