Latest News

Gourmet Traveller CD Award

27 Apr 2020


Australia’s Best Cellar Door Awards 2020 were announced by Gourmet Traveller Wine. Sevenhill Cellars is very excited to have been awarded the Best Large Cellar Door in the Clare Valley region.

Our Cellar Door Manager Adele Agars said, “We are thrilled to be recognised by Gourmet Traveller Wine, as the best Cellar Door in our beautiful Clare Valley region. Our team continually strives to offer exceptional customer service and a memorable experience to every customer that visits Sevenhill. We have so much to offer here. Sevenhill is immersed in history. Picturesque surroundings, locally quarried stone buildings and award-winning wines. These are all signatures of a visit to the oldest winery in the Clare Valley.  We are currently open weekdays 10-4pm, for take aways only, due to Government Covid-19 restrictions. We are working hard  to keep delivering wines direct to your door. We are also working on plans to enhance our tourism offerings so when we can reopen, we will have more for you to enjoy on your next visit to Clare’s Best Large Cellar Door.”

New general manager for Sevenhill

28 Aug 2019

Clare Valley’s first winery Sevenhill Cellars has welcomed new general manager Jonathan O’Neill following the retirement of Mike Christophersen.

The Jesuit-owned winery is pleased to announce the appointment of Jonathan who has more than 20 years’ experience in the wine industry, most recently as Angove Family Winemakers’ regional export manager.

Jonathan spent 11 years with the long-standing South Australian wine business, developing markets in Asia and Europe and also taking on a trading role managing vintage sales. Prior to this position, he worked for 10 years at Plantagenet Wines in Western Australia’s Great Southern region where he was responsible for the winery’s sales and marketing and helped more than double the business during that decade. Jonathan has an Associate Diploma in Wine Marketing, an Agricultural Business Degree and a Master of Business Administration, all gained at the University of Adelaide.

Sevenhill Cellars’ chair Jay Hogan said the board was delighted to secure someone of Jonathan’s calibre. “We’re very pleased to have Jonathan join us at Sevenhill, especially considering his expertise in the area of consumer wine preferences and emerging market trends.  His extensive knowledge of wine distribution will also be a significant benefit to us as we look to expand the sale of our award-winning table wines around Australia and to other targeted international markets.”

Jonathan’s connection with Sevenhill Cellars goes back to his childhood, with memories of Sevenhill’s vintage port sitting tight in his family’s cellar, which he eventually tasted one Christmas in his early 20s. He believes it is memories like this that tie many people to Sevenhill’s brand and story and have helped to build the winery’s loyal following. “So many people have a good experience to tell about Sevenhill,” he said. “It is an icon of the Clare Valley with its old vineyards and amazing history. I think it has so much going for it, including a great vineyard base to produce exceptional wines.” He looks forward to showcasing Sevenhill’s prized, old vineyards, some of which are more than a century old and making the most of the historic winery, in particular the underground stone cellar for premium wine storage. Located beneath cellar door, it was constructed by the Jesuits in the 1850s and provides stable temperatures for steady ageing and to help preserve fresh, vibrant flavours.


Vineyard manager celebrates 20 years

5 Jul 2019

Congratulations to Sevenhill's vineyard manager Craig Richards who celebrated 20 years at Sevenhill on Friday, July 5.

Craig has led the vineyard team at Sevenhill since 1999, making a significant contribution to the ongoing care and maintenance of vineyards, some of which are more than 160 years old.

Craig's passion for environmental sustainability has seen a focus on biological farming practices, including minimum tillage and the reduction of inputs including chemicals, fertiliser, water and energy.

Restoring a piece of history

9 May 2019

Restoration of Weikert Cottage, the dwelling built more than 150 years ago by the original Jesuits at Sevenhill, is well underway.

The cottage, which was severely damaged in the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfire, is named after Franz and Fransiska Weikert, the Silesian couple who led 130 Catholics to the Mid North in 1848.

The Jesuits of Sevenhill are restoring the cottage to honour the foundation of the Jesuits in Australia and when completed, it will become another heritage attraction at Sevenhill and part of our weekday tours.

Stonemasons Tradition Rebuilt recently started the structural work at the cottage - rebuilding walls, chimneys and floors - even meticulously returning stones to their original position.

Watch this space!

Easter weekend opening times

8 Apr 2019

Sevenhill's cellar door will open for wine tastings across three days this Easter long weekend.

For the first time in recent memory, the cellar door will open on Easter Sunday, making tastings available from Saturday through to Monday, April 20 to 22, 10am to 5pm. The cellar door will only be closed on Good Friday.

The friendly cellar door team, who received the honour of 'Cellar Door of the Year' at the 2018 Langton's Clare Valley Wine Show, look forward to welcoming visitors on this historically-popular weekend in the Clare Valley. In addition to wine tastings, cheese platters will also be available to purchase.

The park-like grounds at Sevenhill make it the perfect location for families to spend time, with visitors encouraged to make use of the complimentary sports equipment and picnic tables. Over the years, many cricket games have been played on the lawns.

Another option for visitors looking to incorporate exercise into their weekend is to ride along the Riesling Trail. Sevenhill is only a short distance from the trail, making it the perfect place for a pit-stop and a picnic lunch.

Sevenhill appoints new winemaker

8 Jan 2019

Sevenhill Cellars has appointed Will Shields as its new winemaker, starting in January 2019.

Will joins the Sevenhill team with more than 25 years’ winemaking experience, most recently as chief winemaker at Kirrihill Wines in the Clare Valley.

He has worked in various wine regions throughout Australia and New Zealand, with a major stint in Western Australia’s Margaret River region, including eight years at Vasse Felix followed by nearly ten years at Clairault. Will amassed a string of accolades during this time with as many as 50 awards for a range of wine styles, including Shiraz, Semillon, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot.

He then crossed the Tasman Sea to join The Wine Portfolio as its senior winemaker, spending nearly four years there, with a wine focus on Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot wine.

Allowing fruit to express itself is at the heart of Will’s approach to winemaking, using a soft hand to achieve balanced, elegant wines. Will looks forward to working with the fruit produced by Sevenhill’s estate vineyards, particularly the century-old blocks.

“I’ve long been an admirer of Sevenhill’s fruit,” said Will. “I’ve passed Sevenhill on my walks along the Riesling Trail and noticed how well managed the vineyards are.

“Their age also interests me. I’ve worked with reasonably old vineyards in Margaret River, but they were still only 30 or 40 years old. Some of Sevenhill’s vines are 100 years old, so it will be great to work with those.”

Sevenhill wins Cellar Door of the Year award

26 Oct 2018

Sevenhill Cellars was awarded the Cellar Door of the Year award at the 2018 Langton’s Clare Valley Wine Show on Friday, October 26.

Cellar door coordinator Adele Agars was thrilled to accept the award on behalf of Sevenhill’s cellar door team at a lunch and awards ceremony that celebrates the Clare Valley wine industry’s high achievers.

Sevenhill Cellars was one of three finalists in the Cellar Door of the Year category, which also included Grosset Wines and Shut the Gate Wines. 

Judging of Clare Valley’s cellar doors was conducted by mystery shoppers contracted by Wine Tourism Australia. They visited 32 cellar doors over a six-week period in September and October this year.

Elements assessed included external and internal physical factors, services and facilities, staff interaction and the tasting experience. The top three finalists were distinguished by their friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable staff, who provided high standards of service even during busy periods. 

Sevenhill Cellars’ staff were recognised for their efforts in building rapport, providing an informative tasting experience and initiating sales.

The award was sponsored by Clare Valley Enterprises.


Inigo Shiraz wins Gold in New Zealand

23 Oct 2018

Sevenhill Cellars is excited to announce that its 2016 Inigo Shiraz has received a Gold Medal at the 2018 NZ International Wine Show.

The honour is a credit to winemaker Liz Heidenreich and vineyard manager Craig Richards, whose hard work and expertise have made this success possible.

The 2016 Inigo Shiraz is a generous red wine made with fruit from vineyards more than forty years old, combined with more recently-planted blocks, which together deliver great depth and intensity. It is defined by rich fruit and smooth, juicy tannins, as well as a freshness that can be attributed to the mild weather that marked the long ripening of the 2016 vintage.

After picking, the Shiraz was fermented in large, open-top slate vats that provide ideal conditions for the extraction of colour and flavour. Sevenhill’s 100-year-old slate fermenters are perfect for small-batch, hand-plunged fermentation of red wines - still better than anything invented in the past 100 years.

After fermentation, the wine was basket-pressed and matured in new French barrels (25%) and older French and American oak (up to four years).

Sevenhill Cellars thanks its New Zealand distributor, Alastair Picton-Warlow of PW Wines, who entered the 2016 Inigo Shiraz in the NZ International Wine Show, which is the largest wine competition held in New Zealand. More than 2,000 wines from all over the world competed in this prestigious show, with only 257 Gold medals awarded.

The judging of the 2018 show took place from the 24th to the 26th September and was chaired by Bob Campbell MW, New Zealand's most experienced senior wine judge and the country's leading wine educator. Assistant chief judges were Larry McKenna, John Hancock and Peter Cowley.

The 2016 Inigo Shiraz is available to purchase online here.

Caring for the environment

10 Sep 2018

A brochure detailing Sevenhill Cellar’s long-standing commitment to environmental protection is now available at cellar door and online here.

An initiative of Sevenhill Cellars and the Australian Jesuits, it outlines the many planet-friendly practices followed in the winery and vineyards, ranging from recycling and renewable energy to water harvesting and biological farming techniques.

The brochure, printed on recycled stock and also available in digital form, reflects the wider environmental concerns of the Jesuit community and the Catholic Church through Pope Francis, who underlined his concern for Mother Earth in his landmark 2015 Encyclical letter, Laudato si’: on care for our Common Home. He wrote, “Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or secondary aspect of our Christian experience.”


Shiraz makes a sparkling debut

15 Jun 2018

Sevenhill Cellars has expanded its sparkling wine offering with the addition of a Sparkling Shiraz.

The introduction of the new sparkling red joins our popular Sparkling Riesling, which was introduced to the Sevenhill portfolio with the 2013 vintage.

Shiraz was selected by winemaker Liz Heidenreich for the sparkling red, as the rich character of Sevenhill’s mature Shiraz vineyards provide wonderful fruit for the style.

Produced from a blend of the 2014, 2015 and 2016 vintages, the combination of three years gives complexity from age, but also freshness from the younger parcel. Following fermentation, some aged stock of vintage fortifief shiraz was added to provide blance and a touch of sweetness.

The Sparkling Shiraz is made in the Charmat method, which involves secondary fermentation in a pressurised tank to add a sparkling character.

The palate is rich and fresh, with many layes of complexity, finishing with fruit-cake spice.

Sparkling Shiraz is a wine that can be enjoyed year-round, but it is often associated with the festive season when it goes perfectly with turkey and ham.

To purchase the NV Sparkling Shiraz, go to


Sevenhill tour named in magazine's awards

10 Apr 2018

Sevenhill Cellars has been named in Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine’s annual assessment of Australia’s Best Cellar Doors.

Sevenhill’s guided walking tour was identified in the magazine's March-April issue as providing the Best Additional Experience for cellar doors in the Clare Valley.

The guided tour, which is run Monday-Friday at 11am and at weekends by appointment, includes the winery’s historic underground cellar, old-vine Shiraz vineyard, religious shrines and St Aloysius’ Church and crypt.

Outside the guided tour time, visitors can follow the walking trail using a self-guided map and information, available from Cellar Door.

The tour is a considered an ideal way to appreciate Sevenhill’s heritage and spiritual significance as the first winery established in the Clare Valley following settlement on the property by Jesuits in 1851.

Sevenhill's Rieslings head Halliday's five-star rating

8 Aug 2017

Sevenhill Cellars received a five-star winery rating from noted Australian wine critic and author James Halliday in his newly released 2018 Wine Companion.

The five-star assessment recognises an “outstanding winery capable of producing wines of very high quality and did so this year. Also, will have at least two wines at 95 points or above”.

Sevenhill’s Rieslings led the way, with the 2016 Inigo Riesling and 2016 St Francis Xavier Single-Vineyard Riesling both scoring 95 points. This rating refers to “outstanding wines” of gold metal quality, usually with a great pedigree.

Halliday described the 2016 Inigo Riesling as “outstanding value”. “Has picked up some colour, but is bright with no cause for concern; there is a lot of high quality wine here at the price, the floral citrus bouquet starting to show. It’s bone dry but there is a wealth of lime juice, pith and zest backed by crunchy acidity.”

The 2016 St Francis Xavier Single-Vineyard Riesling was said to be “more refined and elegant than its Inigo sibling, and richly deserves time in bottle to build on the picture-perfect base it already has”. “Demure lime and Granny Smith apple is swathed in fine shards of acidity that prolong the finish and aftertaste - where the quality of the wine shines.”

Other Sevenhill ratings in the 2018 Wine Companion were 2014 St Ignatius (blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec) and 2014 Inigo Barbera (94 points). The 2014 Inigo Cabernet Sauvignon  scored 90 points.

Note: Current vintages of these wines are:

2016 Inigo Riesling, 2017 St Francis Xavier Single-Vineyard Riesling, 2014 St Ignatius and 2015 Inigo Cabernet Sauvignon. Inigo Babera is waiting on a new vintage.

Br John May receives Queen's Birthday honour

13 Jun 2016

One of the Clare Valley’s most respected wine industry figures has been named in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Sevenhill Cellars’ Jesuit Winemaker Emeritus, Brother John May SJ, has been admitted as a member in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of his significant service to winemaking, through contributions to professional associations, to regional tourism and to the Catholic Church in Australia.

Br May, who came to Sevenhill and the Clare Valley in 1963, said he was “deeply honoured” to be made a member of the Order of Australia.

“It is a great privilege to recognised in this way, as there are many other people in the community who deserve to be acknowledged because of their contribution and commitment,” he said.

“I have been fortunate to be part of the development of Sevenhill and the Clare Valley’s wine industry and to be closely involved with the parish and the community. Along the way, I have received wonderful support from many people and I hope that I have been able to contribute in the same way.

“We are all given gifts by God and, when I was sent to Sevenhill, my commitment was to exercise all my talents for the greater glory of God.

“Being a Jesuit, our motto Ad majorem Dei gloriam (For the greater glory of God) has been my guiding light. Having devoted my life to the Lord, I do not expect to be honoured for my work which, for me, has always had its own rewards.”

Br May’s first vintage at Sevenhill in 1963 came soon after he arrived from Melbourne as a young Jesuit Brother to work as an assistant to the then Jesuit Winemaker, Brother John Hanlon, SJ.

Br May’s first year at Sevenhill coincided with the start of a new era in wine production. The first hydraulic wine press was installed at Sevenhill in 1963 and in 1968 the first dry white table wine was made from Crouchen (Clare Riesling) grapes.

Br John, who was born in Sydney and became a carpenter after leaving school, joined the Jesuits in 1949, training at Loyola College in the Melbourne suburb of Watsonia. After working at Sevenhill from 1963 to 1969, he returned to Loyola College in 1969 where he was manager of a large retreat house and novitiate.

However, when Br Hanlon died suddenly in February 1972, Br May was recalled to Sevenhill to become the seventh Jesuit Winemaker in challenging circumstances on the eve of vintage.

In his early days as winemaker, Br May was supported by the tight-knit Clare winemaking community, whose co-operative spirit ensured that one of the region’s valued wine assets was guided and supported through a difficult time. However, Br May soon embraced the role of manager of winemaking and viticulture and he set about a determined and energetic program to guarantee the sustainability of Sevenhill.

This strategy involved improvement of the winery buildings and equipment and the vineyards were expanded using the best clones of varieties suitable to the Clare Valley in conjunction with the then Department of Agriculture (now Primary industries). Br May also devoted considerable effort to developing Sevenhill’s sales network through expansion of the Cellar Door operation and interstate and international distribution of Sevenhill wines through Sevenhill partner distributors.

In addition to his work at Sevenhill, Br John contributed to the community in many ways, including chairmanship of the Clare Valley Tourism Association and membership of the Clare Valley Winemakers’ Association, Clare Region Winegrape Growers’ Association, and Vine Improvement and Landcare organisations.

He was a keen sportsman, playing tennis and table tennis and he “trod the boards” with local theatre group, the Auburn Players, for 14 years.

Br John retired from winemaking in early 2003, with his stellar career distinguished by the emergence of Sevenhill’s reputation for quality table wines, the growth of its cellar door and visitor recognition of Sevenhill as an important location of religious and heritage character.

Br John received the Jubilee Medal from the Australian Jesuits in 2006 and his contribution to the wine industry was recognised with life membership of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia in 2004. In 2014, he was named as an inaugural member of the Clare Valley Wine Hall of Fame as one of six recipients of Legends Awards, presented by the Clare Valley Winemakers’ Association. He also received the Harry Dowling Award for excellence in regional tourism at the 2005 South Australian Tourism Awards.

His contribution to Sevenhill was recognised with the launch in 2008 of the 2004 Brother May Reserve Release Shiraz to coincide with the completion of his 45th vintage at Sevenhill. Made from premium fruit in limited quantity, the fifth vintage of this highly sought-after wine, the 2010 Brother John May Reserve Release Shiraz, was released in early 2016

Br John’s passionate advocacy of Sevenhill and the Clare Valley continues through his active role in the winery’s activities, including hosting visitors who are enthralled by his vast knowledge of Sevenhill’s winemaking and spiritual heritage.

Sevenhill's Cellar Door a star performer

11 Apr 2016

Sevenhill Cellars has been named as the Clare Valley’s Star Cellar Door in Gourmet Traveller Wine’s 2016 Best Cellar Door Awards.

The annual awards are based on the opinions of the magazine’s national wine writers who visit Australia’s wine regions to assess star performers, best tasting experiences and who serves the finest food.

David Brookes, who visited the Clare Valley, described Sevenhill as “something very special”.

“Driving in is awe-inspiring. The grounds, the vines, and the incredible sandstone buildings create an atmosphere that is quite unlike any other winery visit in the region,” he said.

The wines have been traditionally made by Jesuit Brothers, but today Liz Heidenreich is the winemaker in charge, still working closely with Jesuit Winemaker Emeritus, Brother John May, SJ.

“the cellar door itself is a rustic affair but it isn’t about shiny décor. Taste the wines, learn about the history, visit the wine museum and underground cellar and spend some time wandering the grounds. In fact, I’d highly recommend hitting some of the Clare valley’s fine providores for supplies. Settling for a post-tasting picnic on the lawn and soaking it all in.”

The Gourmet Traveller Wine Award followed Sevenhill being named in March as one of the top 10 winery experiences in South Australia by The Guardian (UK) in its travel section.

Grenache and Rieslings strike gold

10 Oct 2015

Sevenhill Cellars Inigo Grenache and Riesling have been performing well, with gold medals on the wine show circuit in Australia.

At the 2015 Royal Adelaide Wine Show, Sevenhill’s 2013 Inigo Grenache was the only Gold Medal awarded in Class 35 (2013 Grenache and older), competing against some highly regarded Grenache producers, such as Turkey Flat, d’Arenberg and Chapel Hill.

At the 2015 Rutherglen Wine Shows, Riesling was prominent with Gold Medals for the 2014 Inigo Riesling in Class 12 (Dry White Riesling) and the 2010 St Francis Xavier Single-Vineyard, Museum-Release Riesling in Class 22 (Dry White Riesling 2013 and older).

The 2014 Inigo Riesling was the only gold in its class and the 2010 St Francis Xavier shared top gold points with the Tahbilk 2012 Riesling.

Inigo reds head Halliday ratings

6 Aug 2015

Seven current-release wines from Sevenhill Cellars received 90 points and above in the latest ratings by leading Australian wine critic and author James Halliday in his 2016 Wine Companion.

The top-rated wines were the 2013 Inigo Shiraz (94 points) and the 2013 Inigo Cabernet Sauvignon (94 points). This rating refers to wines considered on the cusp of gold medal status, virtually indistinguishable from those receiving 95 points.

Halliday described the 2013 Inigo Shiraz as “dense, inky purple-crimson”. “This is a vinous black hole in space, fruit, oak and tannins implacably welded together, not allowing the alcohol to make a mark.”

Of the 2013 Inigo Cabernet Sauvignon, he said it was an “awesomely powerful wine” despite its modest alcohol. “Layer upon layer of midnight black fruits, black olive and gnarly tannins lay foundation for a life as long as that of Brother John May (Sevenhill’s Jesuit Wimemaker Emeritus).

Other wine ratings were 2010 St Francis Xavier Single Vineyard, Museum-Release Riesling and 2013 Inigo Grenache (93 points), 2012 St Ignatius and NV Classic Topaque (91 points) and NV Fine Old Tawny (90 points).

Sevenhill centre stage for Sunrise weather

4 Mar 2015

The giant satellite dish sitting on Sevenhill’s lawn signalled how breakfast television can bring far flung parts of Australia into the living rooms of thousands of Australian households every morning.

The satellite link was set up for Edwina Bartholomew, the weather presenter for Channel Seven’s top-rating Sunrise program, to undertake six live crosses at various locations in Sevenhill’s winery and vineyards in early March.

Winemaker Liz Heidenreich, who is also accustomed to early-morning starts during vintage, and Jesuit Winemaker Emeritus, Br John May SJ, were interviewed during the weather segments, which took in Sevenhill’s Underground Cellar, Winery Museum, Cellar Door, vineyard and St Aloysius’ Church and the winery grape crusher.

As the Sunrise visit coincided with vintage in the Clare Valley, viewers were able to see a load of freshly picked grapes tipped into the crusher, as Liz explained the process to Edwina.

The final segment, at Sevenhill’s Weikert Cottage ruins, featured the Executive Officer of the Clare Valley Winemakers’ Association, Tania Matz, who was able to speak to the national audience about the Clare Valley’s upcoming Gourmet Weekend on May 15-17.

Cellar Door wins regional award

3 Nov 2014

Sevenhill Cellars was named Cellar Door of the Year at the 2014 Clare Valley Regional Wine Show in November.

It is the second time Sevenhill has won the award, the first being the inaugural title in 2011 when the award was introduced by the Clare Valley Winemakers Inc to recognise outstanding presentation and service.

Sevenhill’s Jane Dawson was also a finalist in the 2014 Cellar Door Person of the Year.

Sevenhill’s Cellar Door is considered one of busiest in the Clare Valley, regularly attracting more than 50,000 visitors each year.

Br John May inducted to Clare Valley Wine Hall of Fame

19 May 2014

Sevenhill Cellars’ Jesuit Winemaker Emeritus, Brother John May SJ, has been named as an inaugural member of the Clare Valley Wine Hall of Fame.

Br John was one of six Legends Awards presented at the Black Tie & Pearls Gala Dinner on Friday, May 16, to celebrate the Gourmet Weekend’s 30th anniversary and launch of the 2014 event.

More than 300 people attended the dinner, which featured a stunning video presentation for each of the six recipients before they received their Legends Award.

Br John, who came to Sevenhill and the Clare Valley in 1963, was typically modest in his acceptance speech.

“Life is full of surprises and this Legend Award is certainly that,” he said.

“I have only been in the Clare Valley for the past 50 years, but I am delighted to receive this honour.”

Other recipients of the Legends Award were: The late Carl Sobels (Quelltaller Winery), the late Mick Knappstein (Stanley Wine Company, later known as Leasingham Wines), the Late Jim Barry (Jim Barry Wines), Jane Mitchell (Mitchell Wines) and Jeffrey Grosset, (Grosset Wines).

The launch of the Clare Valley Wine Hall of Fame is an initiative of the Clare Valley Winemakers Inc to recognise those who have made a significant contribution to long and proud history of grapegrowing and winemaking in the Clare Valley.

Brother May's first vintage at Sevenhill in 1963 came soon after he arrived from Sydney as a young Jesuit Brother to work as an assistant to the the then Jesuit Winemaker, Brother John Hanlon, SJ.

John’s first year at Sevenhill coincided with the start of a new era in wine production. The first airbag wine press was installed at Sevenhill in 1963 and in 1968 the first dry white table wine was made from Crouchen (Clare Riesling) grapes.

John joined the Jesuits in 1949, training at Loyola College in the Melbourne suburb of Watsonia. After working at Sevenhill from 1963 to 1969, he returned to Loyola College in 1969 where he was manager of a large retreat house and novitiate.

However, when Brother Hanlon died suddenly in February 1972, John was recalled to Sevenhill to become the seventh Jesuit Winemaker. As manager of winemaking and viticulture, John embarked on a program to improve the winery buildings and facilities, and the vineyards were expanded using the best clones of varieties suitable to the Clare Valley in conjunction with the then Department of Agriculture (now Primary industries).

In addition to his work at Sevenhill, John contributed to the community in many ways, including chairmanship of the Clare Valley Tourism Association and membership of the Vine Improvement and Landcare organisations,

John retired from winemaking in 2003, with his stewardship distinguished by the emergence of Sevenhill’s reputation for quality table wines, the growth of its cellar door and visitor recognition of Sevenhill as an important location of religious and heritage character. His contribution to the wine industry was recognised with life membership of the Winemakers’ Federation of Australia in 2004.

John’s passionate advocacy of Sevenhill and the Clare Valley continues through his active role in the winery’s activities, including public tours and hosting visiting media.

Inigo Riesling strikes gold in Melbourne

29 Nov 2013

Sevenhill Cellars’ newly released 2013 Inigo Riesling is already making its mark on the Australian wine show circuit.
The wine received a Gold Medal at the recent Royal Melbourne Wine Awards where it was one of nine wineries to receive the top rating in the 2013 Riesling class. The judges awarded the 2013 Inigo Riesling 95 points, one of five entries to receive this assessment.
Sevenhill was one of three wineries from the Clare Valley to receive gold in Melbourne for the 2013 Riesling class, which attracted 116 entries.
The 2013 Inigo Riesling also received a Bronze Medal at the Royal Perth Wine Show and this year’s Canberra International Riesling Challenge.
The awards continue the consistent high ratings for Inigo Riesling in recent years, with the 2010 vintage receiving 96 points from noted wine critic and author James Halliday, the 2011 (93 points) and 2012 (95 points).
According to Winemaker Liz Heidenreich, the 2013 Inigo Riesling underlines wonderful varietal character from a vintage in which Riesling was picked earlier than normal because of the rapid ripening of many varieties in the warm, dry conditions. Despite the drier weather, Riesling produced above-average yields and good quality in the Clare Valley in 2013.
“The palate reveals prominent grapefruit and orange blossom, followed by the zestiness of lime citrus on the finish,” Liz said.
“Enjoy this wine while young and fresh, however it will increase in complexity with some short-term ageing.”


New Inigo labels

14 Sep 2013

A new look for Inigo’s classic varieties

Sevenhill Cellars Inigo range has a stylish new look, but the wines remain as classic single-varieties that are estate grown in South Australia’s Clare Valley.

The new Inigo branding has been launched with the release of the 2013 Inigo Riesling, 2013 Inigo Verdelho, 2013 Late Harvest Gewürztraminer and a further release of the 2010 Inigo Shiraz.

The Inigo label was developed in 2006 in recognition of St Ignatius, the founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), which established Sevenhill in 1851 as the first winery in the Clare Valley. Born in the Basque country of Spain and baptised ‘Inigo Lopez de Loyola’, he devoted his life to improving the spiritual life of others.

Having established a strong presence, it was considered appropriate in 2012 to embark on further development of the Inigo label in response to the ever-changing requirements of the wine market.

The new label continues the recognition that the Sevenhill brand is built around its connection to the Jesuits and a respected winemaking heritage. The spiritual and heritage values that are inherent in this connection are represented in the new packaging.

The new label strengthens the Inigo name through its prominence on the front label and capsule, and the hand-written font in the background gives a subtle personal touch.

The deep slate-grey of the labels and capsule was adopted because of its strong connection with Sevenhill through the winery, College building and St Aloysius’ Church. Slate is widely used as a building material at Sevenhill and in wine production through the historic wine tanks and open-top fermenters.

The label’s intense slate colour also links to the traditional style and quality of black tones, further reinforcing the premium quality of the Inigo wines and Sevenhill’s winemaking style.

In addition to the new branding, Sevenhill’s Inigo Shiraz and Grenache are being bottled in a Burgundy-style bottle and all wines from the Inigo range will be available in six-packs, rather than dozen cartons.

The remaining wines in the Inigo range – Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Merlot will be released under the new label with the change to the 2012 vintage.