Senior Brand Manager Rare & Fine Wines
Head of winemaking
40 Eden Valley Road
Angaston SA 5353
+61 8 8561 3309
Fiercely independent, extremely progressive, and committed to looking after the land and its people, Yalumba acknowledges that the reputation of their wine is only as good as the next bottle a customer drinks. So they put the same attention to detail into every bottle of wine they make, regardless of variety, quantity or price.
In 1847 a 37-year-old brewer called Samuel Smith left his home in Wareham, Dorset with his wife Mary and their four children. Boarding a simple three masted barque they left Plymouth and began the long and arduous journey to Australia, arriving in Port Adelaide. From there they trekked north to Angaston where Samuel took a job as a gardener. It was arguably this brave decision to start a new life in a remote and distant land, together with the hardship that they endured, that formed the strong sense of family unity that has been the bedrock of the family business ever since.
In 1849 he started the wine farm that would grow over the next five generations to become one of Australia’s leading wineries, with a winemaking culture that is internationally recognised and respected. To embrace the native culture, Samuel decided to adopt a local name for his farm, calling it “Yalumba” meaning “all the country around’’ in the indigenous Peramangk language.
Robert Hill-Smith: the fifth generation
From the beginning, family values underscored Yalumba’s success: a belief in hard work and persistence, integrity and respect, honesty and sincerity. Since 1985 Yalumba has been under the leadership of fifth- generation family member Robert Hill- Smith. Robert has taken Yalumba from a well-regarded fortified winemaker with a large, cumbersome wine portfolio, to one of the most respected fine wine producers in Australia.
During his time as managing director, Robert has challenged and modernised Yalumba, embracing innovative marketing and advertising, and has re-focused Yalumba’s horticultural heritage by increasing investment in their highly regarded vine Nursery. He also implemented a vineyard sustainability programme, building a new winery in the Barossa and expanding Yalumba’s distribution around the world. Perhaps his most enduring legacy, however, will be his insistence on maintaining the thread of fine dry red winemaking, with a particular focus on Cabernet Shiraz, which has been made consistently at Yalumba since the late 1800s.
Yalumba Winemaking Philosophy
“We seek to craft wines that reflect a thoughtful interpretation of grape, terroir and house style – wines of individuality, wines of conviction, wines of provenance and wines of leadership.” Robert Hill-Smith – Proprietor, Yalumba
Yalumba & Sustainability
Sustainability is nothing new to Yalumba – it is simply a way of life. With more than 168 years of winemaking behind them, Yalumba understands the need to make the right choices for the environment, the local community and the wines. In the vineyard, Yalumba has a holistic approach to growing grapes. This is embodied in their ‘Vitis Programme’, which states a commitment to having minimal reliance on pesticides and maximum attention to environmental improvement.
Yalumba’s head of winemaking: Louisa Rose
Since 2006 Louisa has held the role of head of winemaking at Yalumba, leading the talented group of winemakers responsible for Yalumba’s multiple award winning wines. She is also heavily involved within various aspects of the industry, from wine show judging to regional wine boards. Louisa’s knowledge, skill and passion for Australian wine has resulted in several accolades, including Spirit Competition’s 2004 Women in Wine award, Gourmet Traveller Wine’s Winemaker of the Year 2008 and the International Wine and Australia’s Greatest Winemaker title in 2014.
Yalumba Red Winemaker: Kevin ‘KG’ Glastonbury
KG knows the Barossa like the back of his hand. Growing up in the region, he has more than 30 year’s experience in the industry. His knowledge of the Barossa has helped him to continue to innovate as Senior Red Winemaker for Yalumba. With such experience working in the Barossa with some of the most famous Shiraz and Grenache vineyards, he has obtained an understanding of the Barossa and its vineyards which comes from working in the region for the majority of his winemaking life. KG also looks after the sourcing and purchasing of oak for the crafting of barrels – a proud tradition at Yalumba’s on-site cooperage. KG’s blend of passion and expertise has been recognised with numerous accolades, such as becoming a Len Evan tutorial scholar, respected wine judge, and Winestate ‘Winemaker of the Year.
The coopering of oak barrels is a proud tradition at Yalumba, with a coopering history dating back to the turn of the century. With oak playing such an important part in the winemaking process, Yalumba is one of a small group of winemakers around the world to exercise full control over the quality of oak used to age their wines. The Yalumba cooperage works closely with several French coopers and American stave mills to select French, Hungarian and American staves. These staves are then stacked and left to season in their country of origin for two years before arriving at the Yalumba cooperage.
The Yalumba Nursery began in 1975 as a vision of the then managing director, Wyndham Hill-Smith and chief winemaker Peter Wall, so that they could a have greater control over grafted vine selection. At the time it was difficult to find quality grafted material, and a nursery would provide control over the planting material in the vineyards as well as an opportunity to begin selecting and importing vine material from overseas.
For many years the Yalumba Nursery serviced the needs of the business and very quickly gained a reputation for quality, consistency and innovation, with Yalumba vineyard managers and winemakers providing invaluable feedback and insights on clone and rootstock performance. Over more than four decades, Yalumba Nursery has developed strong relationships with leading programmes of vine, clone and rootstock selection from around the globe, and are distributors of the ENTAV-INRA and IFG (International Fruit Genetics) variety and clone selections, and are now a leading Vine Nursery in Australia.