This all started as a hobby around the turn of the century, with Andrew and his father Bob making tiny amounts of Shiraz from the old block for the family to drink. In the early 2000’s Andrew was briefly enticed to make an allocation for the US, but this was stymied by the GFC and his employment obligations. Despite this, from 2008 he persisted in making small amounts of 1891 Ancestor Vine Shiraz each vintage, which was ‘a bit like ripping up $100 bills in the shower’. He invested even further from 2014, making the Upper Tintara Vineyard Shiraz, from millennium plantings on the family vineyard. Today, this vertical line-up of Shiraz, that he has accumulated each year, is a stunning showcase of the quality of the Upper Tintara Vineyard, the precious nature of the 1891 Ancestor Vines and Andrew’s abundant winemaking talents.
1891 ANCESTOR VINE SHIRAZ
Planted by Thomas Hardy in 1891, the last remaining 2.54 Ha block of Ancestor Vines still produces exceptionally high-quality fruit. Referred to as Bob’s selection after Andrew’s 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 much younger and healthier vines. Andrew has been making small amounts of hand crafted wine from these vines for over two decades, and still has a vertical library stretching back fifteen years. This unique library of Ox Hardy 1891 Ancestor Vine Shiraz is a stunning showcase of the quality of the vineyard, the priceless value of the Ancestor Vines and Andrew’s abundant winemaking talents.
*Each 1891 Ancestor Vine Shiraz is presented in an individual black 'Ox Hardy' wooden box with an accompanying brochure & 2010 tasting note.
The 2018 vintage was the first time in 95 years that wine had been produced in the ruin of Thomas Hardy’s original Upper Tintara Winery. The original open fermenters, made from immense slabs of locally quarried slate, were swept out and the joints resealed with wax in preparation for vintage. Shiraz from the Moreton Bay block of the family’s vineyard was shovelled into the open fermenters by hand, with the open ferment hand plunged three times a day for 12 days before the wine was pumped out and the skins dug out with bucket and shovel. Following basket pressing, the small batch of wine was matured for 18 months in the finest French oak barriques before bottling and release.
UPPER TINTARA VINEYARD SHIRAZ
Sourced from millennium plantings on the Hardy family Vineyard, this wine is a contemporary style of McLaren Vale or - more specifically - Blewitt Springs Shiraz. Being more elevated and cooler than the Vale floor gives the wines from the Upper Tintara Vineyard high levels of natural acidity, great freshness and bright lively colour. Use of second fill French oak barriques for maturation further enhances the primary fruit flavours and allows the characteristics of the vineyard and location to shine through. Made with a minimal intervention winemaking philosophy, this wine is not only a classic example of modern McLaren Vale Shiraz, but also a great reflection of the sub-region where it’s grown.
BLEWITT SPRINGS GRENACHE
Fruit for Ox Hardy Grenache was grown on Robert Natale’s vineyard on Schuller Road, Blewitt Springs. These old bush-vines are grown without irrigation and consistently yield high-quality fruit. Hand picked by Robert himself, approximately five hundred kilograms of hand sorted fruit was whole bunch fermented, while the balance was destemmed and crushed, topping up the first fermenter, and filling a second. Seeded with Melody yeast, the fermenters were hand plunged three times a day for fifteen days. Once dry, the two batches were kept separate during maturation in older French oak barriques and hogsheads for six months before final blending and bottling.