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Garden & Field

Provenance, Discovery and Custodianship

About Garden & Field

Surrounded by the stark beauty of Moculta’s rolling hills and ancient gums, Gnadenberg Road in the Barossa’s high country has an understated, yet significant provenance. The name of the road itself speaks volumes, translating from German as Hill of Grace. It borders highly sought-after viticultural land, rich in local history, including that of Garden & Field’s distinguished home block. Just 1.6 kilometres down the road to the east is Henschke’s world-renowned Hill of Grace Vineyard, with only one other vineyard between them.
In 1856, the remote block of land was purchased by Samuel Smith who planted the property to Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. But Samuel was convinced by his wife, Mary, to sell the vineyard to Wilhelm Schilling. The Schilling family built the farm’s cottages from granite rocks they cleared from the site, living there and tending the vines for over 100 years. With no ongoing family interest to maintain the vineyard, the property was sold in the late 1970s. But the new owner, with no allegiance to the majestic old vines, pulled out the vineyard during the 1980s Vine Pull Scheme.
Initially captivated by the site’s location, but not fully realising its rich history, Mel and Pete bought the derelict property in 2008, after it had been on the market for over 2 years. Pete recognised the site’s significant viticultural potential, with its south-facing aspect and complex red clay soils. They sourced Shiraz from Langhorne Creek, and trimmed, calloused and established it in their own nursery.

Ready to get started on the daunting task of replanting by hand, Mel and Pete arrived one morning in August 2009 to find a gathering of old locals, kitted out with picks and shovels, and insisting they help out. Glad to lend a hand, the elderly neighbours had, as teenagers, hand-picked the original 1856 vine plantings back in the 1920s and ‘30s, and considered the property sacred viticultural ground.

By 2012 it was clear that the quality of the Shiraz, hand-pruned, hand-picked, and dry-grown in this very special patch of dirt, was indeed outstanding. The fruit was contracted to Penfolds, making its way into their luxury reds, St Henri and RWT.

In 2015, after many years of watching and learning, Pete turned his hand to making his own wine, retaining some of the lovingly-tended fruit for use in the Garden & Field label. In doing so, he both literally and figuratively broke down the walls between the vineyard and winery, crafting wines from the ground up that can hold their own with the best of them.

Mel and Pete selected the name Garden & Field after discovering the historical print edition. It’s known as one of South Australia’s first agriculture publications by Albert Moulineux. Albert’s findings set the path for many land holders shaping the way for vineyards as we see them today, a true testament to resilience and dedication.

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