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Auldstone Cellars - About Us

Herceynia Vineyard

The Cox Family

Planted by Robert Cox in the 1880's, Herceynia Vineyard has a long and sometimes tragic history. The existing cellars were built in 1891 to produce wine for the jug trade and brandy spirit for the production of port. However, in 1909, Robert Cox died of peritonitis due to their remoteness from medical facilities.

Having already lost two sons as infants, Barbara, his wife, decided to sell and move to town with her three daughters.

Baileys took over the vineyard and cellar but about this time the devastating vine disease, phylloxera, entered the area and decimated Cox's original 60 acres of vines. Baileys replanted 70 acres, but the cellars were no longer needed and fell into disrepair.

In the 1970's Baileys planted a further 50 acres but not all to resistant rootstock. The old vineyard had no permanent irrigation facilities so by the mid 1980's its production was too low to be commercial. The new vineyard was now showing signs of phylloxera and was also losing production: Baileys decided to sell.

Michael and Nancy Reid

Michael and Nancy Reid

Michael and Nancy had been growing muscat grapes in the area for about 10 years when they heard of Baileys decision. As a lecturer in Viticulture and Farming Trade Instructor, Michael knew the vineyard and area well. With Nancy's background in Economics they both realised the potential and made Baileys an offer. The Reids took over the vineyard in October, 1987, and immediately began a rescue campaign for the vines. They harvested their first grapes in 1988, almost 100 years after Robert Cox's first vintage.

Auldstone Cellars

In March, 1989, the Reids had completed the first stage of the restoration of the old cellars and released their first wine under the new Auldstone Cellars label. In that year they also took out the medal for the best current vintage muscat at the Rutherglen Show. In 1990 they completed an irrigation pipeline to Lake Mokoan thus ensuring future quality vintages from the Herceynia vineyard.

The Future

Michael and Nancy have long been admirers of the wines of the area. They both recognise that the deep red granitic soils are ideal for grapes and coupled with the local climate produce fruit of intense flavour and character. Using modern winemaking techniques they have been able to produce both table wines and fortifieds of outstanding depth and quality. Their main outlet will always be through the cellar door where they can provide a service. They believe that wines should be enjoyed in a pleasant atmosphere. To this end Nancy has developed tempting gourmet lunches available at the cellars for weekend customers. The tasting room boasts a collection of local art. A roaring log fire can be enjoyed in winter or the relaxing gardens on warmer days.

Producers of premium Australian wines in true regional style from the legendary Glenrowan Wine Region of North East Victoria