lundi 6 février 2012

Australie : Jackson Family Wines rachète Hickinbotham Vineyard (Clarendon)

Jackson Family Wines Chairman and Proprietor Barbara R. Banke today announced the purchase of Hickinbotham Vineyard at Clarendon in South Australia’s McLaren Vale wine region.

“There are few properties in the world like that of the legendary Hickinbotham Vineyard at Clarendon,” said Barbara Banke. “My family and I have had great affection for Australia - so much so that wepurchased a beautiful viticulture property in Kangarilla, McLaren Vale, a decade ago. We named this Yangarra Estate Vineyard, and are proud of our additions to its original 1946 plantings.“As premium viticulturers and winemakers, the Jackson Family has always respected Australia as home to some of world’s finest vineyard estates. We are delighted to have this opportunity to purchase one of its greatest, and play an ongoing role in its protection and progress,” Barbara Banke said.
The Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard has grown grapes for internationally acclaimed wines, including Penfolds Grange, Eileen Hardy and Clarendon Hills. It is comprised of more than 186 hectares (approximately 455 acres) of land, and is renowned for its elite Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. It was established in the modern era by the Hickinbotham family, whose patriarch Alan Robb Hickinbotham was the founding father of Australian Oenology education.

“When we learned that the Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard was available, we were more than interested,” says Banke. “The Hickinbotham family is well known for their commitment to producing the highest quality grapes with a great reverence for the land — these principles are our passion and driving force. I’m very proud that we can count this jewel as the newest Jackson Family Estate Vineyard and look forward to continuing its celebrated legacy.”

Steeped in history, this estate began in 1858 as one of the first higher elevation vineyards in South Australia. It sits on the coveted 750 million year old geology of the Belair Subgroup in the north-eastern corner of McLaren Vale, overlooking the perfectly-maintained stone buildings of the 1850s Clarendon village. Traditional dry-grown vines sit side-by-side with modern irrigated vineyards on the 250 metre slopes.

There are two important architectural elements on the property: a Chateau-inspired main house built by the Hickinbotham family, and the famed “Earth Shelter House” designed and built by German architect Gerhard Schurer in 1981. These distinctive dwellings offer stunning views of the vineyards and will be used as hospitality houses for guests.

“I have always admired the history and the sheer beauty of the Hickinbotham Vineyard at Clarendon,” said Yangarra Estate manager/winemaker Peter Fraser. “It’s very exciting to finally have a hand in taking this property to a new level. As it’s only a few minutes from the new Yangarra Estate winery, we can confidently guide its special flavours into wines of style and clarity.

“In the ten years I have worked with the Jackson Family, I have had nothing but admiration for their commitment to distinctive and historical vineyards,” Peter Fraser continued. “Since the late Jess Stonestreet Jackson (February 18, 1930 – April 21, 2011), founded the business in 1974, Jackson Family Wines has consistently worked to establish top-shelf estate wines that the customer can trust and respect.”

Jackson Family Wines representative Katie Jackson -- daughter of Barbara Banke and founder Jess Jackson -- is spearheading the integration of this revered property. “I’m honored to be a part of the Clarendon Vineyard tradition,” said Katie, “particularly so because it is an estate rooted in the same strong family tradition that makes Jackson Family Wines such a unique company.”