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Yalumba: 175 years of looking forward

By Thursday 18 April 2024No Comments

Yalumba will celebrate 175 years of multi-generational family ownership, innovation and excellence in the art of winemaking this year with a series of new releases and experiences at its home in Eden Valley and abroad.

A hundred of Australia’s most influential wine media and trade converged on Yalumba yesterday for a Yalumba Museum Tasting followed by dinner in the Signature Cellar.

In May Yalumba will begin advertising and sharing their story across the globe with the campaign theme, 175 Years of Looking Forward.

Established in 1849 by Samuel Smith and today in the hands of fifth-generation proprietor and industry pioneer Robert Hill-Smith, Yalumba is Australia’s oldest family-owned winery, driven by the spirit of innovation passed down through six generations.

Over 175 years, Yalumba has become synonymous with Australian fine wine and has long championed South Australia’s iconic wine regions on the world stage.

Robert Hill-Smith describes Yalumba’s 175th anniversary – on 17 November 2024 – as, “A genuinely momentous milestone.”

“This anniversary is not only a nod to years passed,” he says. “It is a reflection of our resilience and a commitment to mastering our craft, generation after generation.

“It also acknowledges the many exceptional fine wine people that have come through the gates of Yalumba across three centuries, with shared love for our property, our wines and our industry.

“Most of all, it is celebration of an exciting future ahead for our family business and the world of Australian fine wine.

“While we celebrate our past 175 years, we keep our eyes firmly set on the next 175 as the generations before us have done.”

In the winery’s 175th year, Yalumba will debut a Museum Collection featuring a limited selection of the great vintages of its finest wines, aged up to 20 years.

Each of Yalumba’s Museum Collection wines is testament to the family’s dedication to wines of pedigree and its treasured old vines, which include The Caley Cabernet Shiraz, The Octavius Old Vine Shiraz, The Menzies Cabernet Sauvignon and The Signature Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz.

Yalumba’s respect for their oldest vines, many on own roots dating back to 1854, included the creation of the Old Vine Charter in 2007, which is symbolic of many significant contributions the Hill- Smith Family has made to the greater Australian wine industry.

While many of the world’s wine regions faced the devastating plague of phylloxera between 1860 to the 1920s – resulting in the loss of many of the world’s oldest vines – South Australia avoided this pest and as a result, the Barossa-Eden Valley region stands as a remarkable sanctuary of old vines.

With no definition on what constituted an ‘old vine’, it was Yalumba’s leadership that inspired the Barossa wine community to endorse its Old Vine Charter to recognise the jewels at its doorstep.

Hill-Smith says, “We are honoured in our role as custodians and protectors of the world’s ancient vines, preserving varietal and clonal variation in the wine world with respect for the rich history and profound expression of terroir such vines yield.”

“Heritage vines embody the essence of our family winemaking legacy, to value authenticity and diversity in wine above all else and protect and nurture what has been passed onto us to ensure it continues to thrive for many generations.”

The Yalumba Museum Collection will be released in May with very limited quantities available from the Yalumba Wine Room and partnering fine wine outlets and restaurants around the world.

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