One of the oldest family-owned wineries of South Australia was founded by a British brewer Samuel Smith, who arrived in Adelaide in 1847. At the beginning of his path on the new continent, he was a gardener at George Angas’. But in 1851, after several years of gold mining in the state of Victoria, he successfully “washed” enough gold to purchase 35 Hectares of land that he used to plant vines and build a manor. He has named the estate 'Yalumba' which in the language of aborigines stands for 'neighborhood'. His son Sidney Smith and his grandsons, Persey and Walter extended Yalumba and made it the most advanced winery of its time. The cellar was equipped with unique technological solutions (for example, the fermentation tanks were cooled down by the groundwaters system) and was designed extremely spacious even by today's standards.
Yalumba became one of the first nationwide and worldwide acknowledged brands of Australia, and one of its key founding fathers, Walter Smith, has also distinguished himself as a charismatic fighter of Australian Prohibition of 1920. He united and led all the winemakers of the country in opposition to the policy, so the government was forced to listen and give up the populist plan in the end.
Currently, the family business is continued by a direct descendant of Walter: Robert Hills-Smith. In the group of the family-owned wineries - “Australia’s First Families of Wine” - Yalumba keeps its leading role. Nowadays, the historic winery and the museum of wine have become a place of pilgrimage for wine-lovers all over the world; and the result of 170 years of hard labor, emotional investment of six generations in attempts to create a perfect product, brings us all joy, contempt and organoleptic pleasure.
"For six generations we have embraced the magnificent unknown, letting the land lead the way, and growing our vines with as little interference as possible."
INNOVATIONS AND TECHNOLOGIES
“Our winemaking embraces the art of letting go, integrating specific philosophies into our vineyards and winery. This includes organic and vegan-friendly practices, and wild fermentation”
Yalumba estate is not only one of the oldest wine-making families of Australia but also one of the most innovative: vegan wines, organic wines and wild fermentation are the new concepts that the company sees as their future and the future of the world of wine-making.
Sustainability is one of the key priorities of the company: As Hills-Smith family state “generations after generations, we continuously strive to reduce the impact on the environment and make great wines with minimal interventions”. The policy to limit the impact on nature began in the early 1990s, for every hectare of Yalumba vineyard, they keep at least another hectare of native vegetation. In recognition of their efforts, Yalumba estate has been awarded 43 times for their sustainable practices. Due to climate change, and in an attempt to combat its effect on the wine industry, they have installed the largest solar-powered system in all Australian wineries practices, which regenerates about 20% of their on-site power usage. Not only do they hold a leading role in nature preservation, Yalumba winery is also a global leader of wine innovations. The estate is an accredited vine production facility, which grows and supplies young vines to grape-growers all over Australia.
The ideology of the Hill-Smith family is to make wine with the least intervention but as much confidence and expertises as possible. And for 6 generations, they have successfully followed this philosophy by producing exciting and challenging wines. Despite having deep roots in Barossa valley, their vineyards also lay in Eden valley and Coonawarra which affect the style, technologies and the final experiences in our glasses, but never affect the high quality which nowadays is a synonym of “Yalumba”.
Barossa Valley - Steeple vineyard
Eden valley - High vineyard