A bit of History
The Bendbrook vineyards are located on the outskirts of Macclesfield, a small rural township located in the Adelaide Hills, about 40 minutes from the South Australian capital of Adelaide. The locality is a known for its cool climate (altitude 500 meters), but the area also includes a subtle range of microclimates and soil types, particularly along the Angas River Valley, where our vineyards are situated. The vineyard perimeter abounds with wild blackberry, raspberry and gorse stands.
“Bendbrook” is so named because of ox- bow “bend in the brook” (Angas River) and was first planted by John and Margaret Struik in 1997.
Our vineyard is divided by the river, with Cabernet Sauvignon grown on one side, Shiraz on the other. From our hilltops we look down to Southern Ocean, lakes Albert and Alexandria, and the Coorong, a world heritage brackish inland water system teeming with birdlife.
Premium red wine from Bendbrook are of distinctive quality, showing peppery spice and fine-grained tannins. Our focus is on producing world class reds, using controlled yields, and distinguished by their intense rich cardinal colours and full earthy pepper, mulberry & blackberry flavours.
Macclesfield was settled in 1840 and began producing wine in 1844, when the first exports of fortified ports were shipped to the Court of Queen Victoria. Macclesfield claims history as one of the earliest wine areas in Australia and now produces world renowned cool climate reds, primarily Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, as well as dry, delicate Riesling and Viognier.
Sir Samuel Davenport surveyed the property around 1840 as a part of the area’s subdivision. Davenport planted the first vineyard of the district in 1842 and opened a very English style pub -The Three Brothers Arms, in 1844. The Hotel still exists today. By 1904 the approximate 500 acres of planted vines had largely been taken out and replaced with dairy herds and orchards. It was not until 1996 that replanting began when it was recognised how unique the soil structure and microclimate of Macclesfield were.
Bendbrook Vineyard was planted in 1997. The name Bendbrook comes from the significant bend in the Angas River that runs through the middle of the property, separating the Cabernet Sauvignon vines from the Shiraz.This has at times made life very interesting when the river floods, as it does every 4-5 years.
Bendbrook’s homestead was originally the Postmasters residence, which has been recently restored in classic early Australian farmhouse style. Now residence to the Struik family, it is also the Bendbrook Wines’ Cellar Door (by appointment only).
Comments by Others
Adelaide Hills and Adelaide Hills Wineries
Can the Adelaide Hills produce world class reds? This was the question the Adelaide Advertiser posed recently when reviewing premium Shiraz from the area. Bendbrook Goat Track shiraz scored 93 points.
“Reds from the Adelaide Hills stir memories.” wrote another wine reviewer.
He had been doing an article on Adelaide Hills wineries and was particularly taken with cabernets from the region where he spent some time working in the vineyards and wineries when he was a youth. Needless to say our Pound Road Cabernet Savignon was one of them and he awarded it 92 points.
A handfull of Adelaide Hills wineries scored over 90 with their reds, which convincingly answered the paper’s question!
Winestate magazine described our Bendbrook Wines Premium Shiraz (Goat Track 04) as : “Dense sweet fruit aromas with a spearmint edge and harmonious oak. Very solid on the palate with flavoursome blackberry and plum fruits showing ripeness and balance, a wine of style and finesse”. (I couldn’t have written it better myself!)
Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon are better suited to warmer areas of the Adelaide hills.
The “terroir” of Macclesfield is based on granitic micaceous schists associated with quartzite which produce well drained sandy loams of moderate fertility ideally suited to control the natural vigour of Shiraz. The vineyard perimeter abounds with wild blackberry and raspberry stands.
Premium Shiraz from the Adelaide Hills Winery is of remarkable quality showing peppery spice and fine-grained tannins. The Bendbrook Wines focus is on producing premium shiraz fruit with controlled yields, which is paying dividends with our premium Shiraz wines, distinguished by their intense rich cardinal colours and full earthy pepper, chocolate mulberry & blackberry flavours.
Bendbrook Goat Track Shiraz has a world wide following from a dozen different countries with premium shiraz drinkers seeking the wine, as well as many 5 star Australian restaurants in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. (“Wildfire” at Circular Quay at the “Rocks” in Sydney is a must visit for fine dining whilst enjoying the harbour views)
As James Halliday wrote in his “Newwine” review :
“Grown on a steeply sloping, ‘rock infested’ slope, hence the name ‘Goat Track’. Strongly coloured, this medium to full-bodied wine has rich, powerful, blackberry and bitter chocolate fruit supported by quality, ripe tannins. The use of oak has been well controlled, as has the overall extract. Coupled with the screwcap, the wine will live and improve for a decade or more. Well worth the price.”