Yangarra History

Yangarra has continued to evolve since 1862. The wines of Yangarra Estate have steadily gained respect and critical acclaim.

  • 1862

    In 1862, Ebenezer Ward, the most colourful wine critic of his day, described one nearby vineyard as a “gigantic pyramid of verdure, its slopes and summit clothed with luxuriant vines”. These included “Temprana, Shiraz, Malbec, Carbonet, Mataro, Carignan and Grenache”. The Grenache was considered “especially valuable for its erect, self-supporting habit, its fecundity, and the richness of its must”.

  • 1867

    A rival wine scribe of the day, Dr. Alex C. Kelly, wrote in 1867 that while “the two excellent white grapes of the Hermitage – Roussanne and Marsanne – have not been introduced into Adelaide, there is much for us to do in this matter, and it ought to be gone about without delay.”

  • 1946

    The planting of Yangarra Estate Vineyard commenced in 1946 when the property was called ‘Lalla Rookh’, meaning “love nest”. Bernard Smart – who still lives adjacent to the property with his wife – assisted his father in planting unirrigated bush vine Grenache at the vineyard block known today as High Sands. Even today, throughout the region, Smart’s name remains synonymous with many of the old vine plantings that dot Blewitt Springs/Clarendon districts of McLaren Vale and produce some of its most compelling Grenache wines.

  • 1947

    They planted another vineyard adjacent in 1947, but that was enveloped and killed by drifting sand before it got the chance to properly establish. For many years the fruit of the ‘46 planting was sought by local winemakers who used it to beef up wines from other smaller holdings across McLaren Vale.

  • 2000

    In 2000, California wine pioneer Jess Jackson and his wife Barbara Banke (proprietors of Jackson Family Wines) began their search in Australia for a site that could produce world-class wines. Their endeavor culminated a year later when they discovered the estate and fell in awe of the gnarly, old bush vines that deliver the heart and soul of Yangarra. They appointed the local team of Peter Fraser and Michael Lane to bring their vision to life.

  • 2001

    A year later they purchased Yangarra Estate, in awe of the priceless old bush vines which they knew would give the reborn Estate its gastronomic heart and soul. The appointments of local men Peter Fraser, winemaker, and Michael Lane, viticulturer, completed the first stage of Jess Jackson’s visionary plan.

  • 2002 - Now

    Over the last two decades, Yangarra Estate and its wines have steadily gained respect and acclaim within and beyond Australia. Though maintaining a progressive trajectory towards the future, Yangarra continues to take inspiration from its earlier days, grateful for visionaries like Smart and Jackson who endowed custodianship of this prized land and history.

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