1891 Ancestor Vines

Planted by my great-great grandfather Thomas Hardy in 1891, the last remaining 2.54ha block of ancestor vines still produce exceptionally high-quality fruit. Referred to by the family as ‘Bob’s selection’ after my father, cuttings from these grandfather vines have been borrowed by neighbours over time, to plant some of the most celebrated vineyards in the district. Unlike other vines of similar longevity, they still appear youthful and barely half their age to the naked eye. They also produce yields of a much younger and healthier vine.

I’ve been making small amounts of hand crafted wine from these vines for over two decades, and we still have a vertical library stretching back twenty-three years. This unique library of Ox Hardy 1891 Ancestor Vine Shiraz is a stunning showcase of the quality of the vineyard, the age-worthiness of the wines, and the priceless value of our ancestor vines.

1891 Ancestor Vines Shiraz

Each year I select fruit from my favourite two or three rows in the 1891 Ancestor Vines to make our flagship wine. I’m a firm believer that a vineyard is not good because it is old, rather it is old because it is good. This is a truly special vineyard that produces extremely high-quality fruit year in, year out. It is my job to ensure the resulting wine reflects this vineyard and the place in which it is planted.

“Oh my. What a beautiful wine to launch this label. And what a compliment to one of the greatest vineyards in McLaren Vale. It caresses the palate with its purple and black fruits, supple tannins and freshness on the finish. It is medium-bodied, yet has the insistent power of a full-bodied wine. 99 Points”

James Halliday, 2008 Ox Hardy Ancestor Vines Shiraz