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The History and Significance of Granite Hills Wines

In the late 1960s, the diminishing returns of traditional sheep farming signalled the end for many smaller properties. However, Gordon Knight, a visionary who never shied away from challenges, sought ways to enhance the productivity of his land. After extensive consultations with the Victorian Department of Agriculture and other wine industry stakeholders, Gordon made the bold decision to sell nearly half of his cherished farmland to finance the establishment of a vineyard.

Planting the Seeds of Success

In 1970, a small trial of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and Riesling vines was planted. Encouraged by their modest growth, further plantings took place in 1971 and 1972, expanding the vineyard to a total area of just 6 hectares.

Unfortunately, disaster struck in 1973 when a dry period coincided with the worst locust plague in history, decimating the newly planted Pinot Noir and Gewurztraminer vines. Regrettably, these varieties had to be abandoned.

The Organic Beginning

Though never officially certified, Granite Hills was initially managed organically, a strategy that persisted until 1976-77. A challenging rainy season and vintage prompted the need for a slightly more sustainable approach.

The Birth of Granite Hills Wines

In 1974, a few buckets of grapes resulted in Granite Hills' first wine, albeit only a few dozen bottles of a Cabernet Shiraz blend. Then, with the 1976 vintage, the winery released its first commercial wines, including less than a hundred dozen bottles of Riesling and a Cabernet Shiraz blend.

In 1978, the vineyard yielded sufficient quantities of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, leading to the groundbreaking release of a varietal Shiraz known for its pronounced peppery characteristics.

A Growing Legacy

By early 1979, the first section of the winery was established, just in time for the 1979 vintage. Llew, the son of Gordon and Heather, returned home after studying Wine Science at Wagga for four years and gaining a year of experience in the wine industry.

Throughout the years, Granite Hills continued to expand. In 1982, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot were planted, increasing the vineyard's size to 9 hectares. The north slope Pinot Noir was established in 1999, and additional plantings of Riesling and Shiraz in 2004 brought the total vineyard area to 12 hectares.

Since 2011, Granite Hills has embraced innovation by removing 3 hectares of older Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz vines. In their place, new and exciting varieties such as Pinot Blanc, Gamay Noir, Gruner Veltliner, and a small planting of Malbec have taken root, shaping the winery's future.

Experience the Legacy of Granite Hills Wines

Discover the rich history and exceptional wines of Granite Hills. Explore our collection at The Reserve Cellar and experience the passion and dedication that have made Granite Hills a cornerstone of the Australian wine industry.

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The Reserve Cellars. ABN 89621364994 Liquor License 196883. The Reserve Cellar supports the responsible service of alcohol. It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to, or obtain alcohol on behalf of, a person under the age of 18 years. WARNING: Under the Liquor Act 1992, it is an offence to supply liquor to a person under the age of 18 years (Penalty exceeds $6,000). for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor (Penalty exceeds $500).

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