McLaren Vale's renowned Clarendon Estate Vineyards - supplier of grapes to Penfold's Grange and Eileen Hardy Shiraz - has been bought by California's Jackson Family Wines.
The 186ha estate at Clarendon, at the northern end of McLaren Vale, owned by the Hickinbotham family, was first put up for sale in October 2010 and includes 83ha of vineyards, a small winery and two houses.
No sale price was disclosed, but the property was originally on the market for more than AUS$10m.
Jackson Family Wines chair and owner Barbara Banke – widow of company founder Jess Jackson – said: ‘When we learned that the Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard was available, we were more than interested.
‘The Hickinbotham family is well known for their commitment to producing the highest quality grapes with a great reverence for the land – these principles are our passion and driving force.’
Jackson Family Wines already owns Yangarra Estate Vineyard at Kangarilla, a few miles from Clarendon. Yangarra winemaker Peter Fraser said the Hickinbotham grapes would be vinified at Yangarra’s new winery.
Banke has made no secret of her desire to buy more top-of-the-range vineyards in Australia, with demand for Yangarra outstripping supply from the estate’s existing vineyards.
The Hickinbotham estate is particularly highly regarded for its Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon, but also produces Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier.
Katie Jackson (pictured) – daughter of Jess Jackson and Barbara Banke – has been appointed to take charge of the integration of the property.
Written by Richard Woodard