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Yalumba: Producer profile

Founded in 1849, Yalumba has since blossomed into one of Australia's premier wineries...

Tradition dictates that Samuel Smith planted the Yalumba’s first vines by moonlight in 1849 in Angaston, near Adelaide.

In 1852 he travelled to Victoria to mine for gold, returning somewhat richer several months later. With his small fortune he purchased 80 acres of land which would become key vineyards for his burgeoning  wine business. His first wine was released a year later, in 1853.

In 1893 horticulturist Fred Caley Smith, Samuel’s grandson, travelled the world observing scientific and horticultural developments. His insights, delivered by letter over his 18 month travels, helped to shape Yalumba’s vineyard management and sustainable ethics. Yalumba’s new flagship wine, The Caley, is named in his honour.

View all of Decanter’s Yalumba tasting notes

In the mid-1980s, Robert and Sam Hill-Smith bought out the other family shareholders and purchased new vineyards in Coonawarra and Wrattonbully. It was around this time that cuttings of Viognier from the Rhône made it to Australia, and Yalumba created the first commercial-sized planting of the variety outside of Condrieu. Their first vintage of The Virgilius Viognier was released in 1998.

The estate is one of the only wineries in Australia to have a vine nursery and its own cooperage. It has also been running its own sustainable viticulture program since the 1990s. The winery is a member of Australia’s First Families of Wine, a collaboration between 12 family owned wine producers in Australia.

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