The vineyard that is today known as Elderton, was first planted in 1894 by early German settlers, the Scholz family. In 1916, it was purchased by Samuel Elderton Tolley who built himself a sprawling homestead on the Estate and sold the fruit to his family’s winery.
In 1975, the descendants of Mr Tolley decided to place the vineyard on the market. Due to the very tough times that the Barossa was enduring, there was no interest in the property from local growers or wineries and it remained on the market becoming more derelict annually.
“If you buy the house, I will give you the surrounding 72 acres of old vines for nothing”. This was the proposal offered to Lorraine and Neil Ashmead in 1979. The rambling old homestead looked ideal for a growing family and the Ashmead’s worked tirelessly to salvage and restore a phenomenal treasure of a vineyard.
In 1982 Elderton began producing wines from the Estate. Tough times prevailed, but ultimately the vision of the founders shone through and Elderton is today celebrated as a major reason for the rejuvenation of the Barossa. At present, brothers Cameron and Allister (second generation) work with the Estate vineyard in Nuriootpa and have also purchased other exceptional vineyards in Craneford and Greenock. Their aim is to showcase the absolute best that the Barossa has to offer.
Region: Barossa Valley, Australia
Year Founded: Vineyard 1894, Winery 1982
Proprietors: The Ashmead Family
Winemaker: Richard Langford
Size of property: Estate Vineyard(Nuriootpa)- 72 acres, Helbig Vineyard(Greenock)- 55 acres, Cranford Vineyard(Eden Valley)- 40 acres
Amount of Property Planted: Elderton is made up of three sites-Nuriootpa, Craneford (Eden Valley) & Greenock (Western Barossa) with a total of about 160 acres planted.
Terroir: The old saying that great wine is made in the vineyard is one that also holds very true at Elderton. The Nurioopta site, where the estate is located, was planted in 1894 and is on the banks of the North Para River. You'll find Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot planted on this site with at an elevation of 275m. Alluvial river silt soils over red and brown clays dominate. The Craneford site is located deep in the Eden Valley ranges. Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon & Chardonnay are planted at an elevation of 390m - 425m. The soils of Craneford are mineral rich & rocky. The Greenock site is locationed in the Western Barossa. Shiraz, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Mataro, Semillon & Chardonnay are planted at elevations of 330m - 350m. Greenock soils are free draining and rich in ironstone. The goal of the Ashmead family is to produce world class wines from entrenched varieties, grown in the Barossa from our own vineyard holdings. We celebrate the individual terroirs of each of our sites and aim to produce wines that show true regional history and character, varietal definition and a healthy slice of our own personalities.
Annual Production: 30-40,000 cases
Varieties Cultivated: Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot, Grenache, Mouvedre, Carignan, Chardonnay, Semillon, Mataro
Organic/Sustainable/Other Certifications: Elderton was the first winery in South Australia to use the Trees for Life program to offset company emissions by planting trees. A solar panel grid, erected in September 2010 is comprised of 168 panels has reduced the winery’s carbon dioxide emissions by at least 55 tones annually. Working with Barossa Council and the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board, Elderton is regenerating the banks of the North Para River where it flows through the Estate. By harvesting rain water from the roofs of the winery buildings, Elderton is water self-sufficient 11 months of the year. In addition, the winery recycles close to 100% of the winery water to a quality level that can be used on the vineyard. We expect to recycle around 5ML of water annually.
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