The story of the Gemtree has grown to mean so much more than a fable shared with the Buttery and Brown children. It came from Melissa, Andrew and Mike’s passion for the environment and acknowledgement of the importance of the vineyard ecosystem. It symbolises everything that the brand stands for.
Paul and Jill Buttery established the Gemtree vineyards in McLaren Vale in 1980. Now their son Andrew runs the business, their daughter Melissa Brown (nee Buttery) is the Biodynamic Viticulturist and her husband, Mike Brown is the Chief Winemaker.
For the Butterys and Browns it is not just about winemaking… it is about setting new standards for sustainable, generational farming. We see ourselves as custodians of the land and we want to leave it in a better condition than we found it. We want our legacy to live on for our children.
This is our Gemtree story…
There was once a tree. Not the tallest tree, nor the oldest tree, but a tree that had put its roots in just the right part of the paddock. Here the soil was deep and layered - sometimes hard and rocky, elsewhere soft and sandy - and the wind had just enough room to move, and even the rain - when it was kind enough to visit - would fall evenly and gently.
Because of its favoured position, the grasses grew tall against its trunk, and the wild flowers were easily encouraged to grow closely around it, and the insects and birds that looked to trees for shelter and for vantage, eagerly moved in.
One day a farmer approached the tree and wondered: “You do not grow the strongest, nor the fastest, so why is it that you grow the best fruit?”
The tree let the answer whisper through the wind in its branches: “If I am shown a patient mind and a gentle hand, if I am left to follow the rhythms of my seasons – to rest in Winter; to revive in Spring; to make busy in Summer; and to provide in Fall – then I can offer fruit that tastes not just of the ground upwards, but also of the sky downwards, and of everything around me.”
The farmer thought to himself: “This is truly a Gemtree – it takes only what it can give back to the land, it contributes to its surroundings, and it provides for those that live around it.”