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Hugh Hamilton Wines

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Bottli sits down with Mary Hamilton who shares her story

Written by Miriam Laurovics

Looking for something to do in the holidays? Visiting Hugh Hamilton Wines is no doubt good value for money and time.

Hugh Hamilton Wines is nestled in the gorgeous McLaren Vale in South Australia. The location is well-known for its near-perfect climate conditions as the frost and humidity are well regulated from the sea and hills on either side. Hugh Hamilton wines offer a range of wines and a unique cellar door experience fit for any wine lover.

Mary and her father Hugh Hamilton in the vineyard

Mary Hamilton and her father Hugh Hamilton at their vineyard in McLaren Vale, SA, with the Oddball Georgian wine.
Photo credit: hughhamiltonwines

The Bottli team had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Mary Hamilton, who is the 6th generation of the true Australian wine dynasty. Mary is a mother of two and is the first woman of the generation line to take over the business. Mary loves the spirit of adventure and thrives on the excitement and chemistry of blending quirky flavours to create exceptional quality wine.

High Hamilton Wines ancestry

Mary Hamilton is the 6th generation carrying the Hamilton Wines legacy

“I adore The Floozie; Sangiovese Rose, and I do love my dry and salty white wines, although it’s really hard to pick one favourite. I drink all three – white, red, rose – every day”.

 “Wine has always been the background –  the smells, the barrels, – this is home to me”, Mary said.                                                                                    

The rich history:

Hugh Hamilton Wines is Australia’s oldest family-owned winery. The story begins around 1836, when Mary’s 3rd great grandfather, Richard, emigrated from Dover, England to the new colony of South Australia.

He soon realized there was no wine in South Australia. Troubled, confused and craving for some wine, he made it his number one priority to solve this problem. He had to adjust and transform his life from being an honourable English tailor to a full-time Aussie farmer.

Soon enough, from the 80 acres of land he bought and the strong networks from winemakers in South Africa, he made history by being the first winemaker and grape grower of the colony of South Australia. The Hamilton family have grown this amazing legacy into a successful business. Through the family dramas, world wars, depressions, and droughts, Hugh Hamilton Wines have never missed a year of producing wine since 1841. 

The Black Sheep label

The meaning behind Hugh Hamilton label

Hugh Hamilton Wines are known for its iconic single sheep and black and white themed visual brand image. The ‘black sheep’ nods to the distinct personality trait that dwells in the family’s bloodline – independent, bold, and doing things their own way.

The Saperavi grape

They are also known for producing wine with unique blends, shining a halo to the unique grape type, ‘Saperavi’. Saperavi is the oldest grape known to humans, dating back to the invention of winemaking in Georgia in 6000 BC.

It makes exceptional wine with its red flesh and skin creating a double dose of red colour. The intensely dark-coloured wine embodies lively spice and natural acidity along with rhubarb aromas. The Saperavi grape has known to be the diva of the wine world, enticing consumers with its bold and unique characteristics. – much like the ‘Black sheep’ persona.

The oldest grape known to humans
The Saperavi grape is the oldest grape in the world. Photo credit:
The Oddball Saperavi from hugh hamilton
The Oddball Saperavi 2018

The ‘Oddball’ (shown in the right picture above) is 100% Saperavi and the packaging gives an ethnic Georgian look with its curvy script and the addition of the currency coin.

Hugh Hamilton thrive on bending the rules and discovering different unique tastes that have never been found before. The Black Ops’ blends Saperavi and shiraz delivering a young, fresh, vibrant, and fragrant bottle of wine.

The family recognise that winemaking is conservative and take a more traditional yet sustainable approach in farming all three of their vineyards.

 “We embrace the old ways of farming – making sure not to disturb natural ecology. We then couple this with the assets that technology, such as infrared cameras, can give”.

Mary shares her key tip for success:

“Being real and true to yourself is the primary key to standing out from the other wines”.

Wine tasting at Hugh Hamilton Wines

Photo credit:

Bold and ancient are two words I would describe Hugh Hamilton Wines. Guests are treated with panoramic views of the vineyard and fruitful information about the wine process and facility history. Visit here to find out more information about the cellar door experience. 

Craving for wine? We have a large selection to choose from on our eshop. psst we also have bundles!

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