Henschke, Barossa Valley
..wine aristocrats of the [Barossa] Valley..Jancis Robinson
The Henschke story begins with a mid 19th-century precursor of the boat people, an influx of Lutherans escaping religious persecution in Silesia in what is now southwest Poland. Like dozens of other families, the Henschkes made their way north from Port Adelaide to the Barossa Valley but, crucially, they settled not on the baking hot Barossa Valley floor but a few hundred metres higher up in the rather cooler Eden Valley.
In 1860 the Henschkes and their kin built themselves a pretty little church, called Gnadenberg after a place left far behind. Just in front of the church, in the same year, Nicolaus Stanitzki planted a vineyard. He called it Hill of Grace, the English translation of Gnadenberg. By 1891 the vineyard belonged to a Henschke, and Stephen and Prue’s children are the sixth generation to have custody of some of Australia’s oldest vines, up to 150 years old. Most unusually for Australia, these vines thrive without any irrigation.
The Hill of Grace, Mt. Edelstone and Cyril have firmly established themselves as truly great if not iconic wines in Australian and international regard.