Hugo first purchased this historic winery from the Jacob family in 1918, but the family ties go back even further: Hugo’s grandfather, Johann, worked the first vintage in the original winery in 1859. Today, these heritage edifices have been enhanced by exquisitely crafted additions of modern architecture, creating a home for St Hugo that is worthy of these outstanding wines, and showcasing Hugo Gramp’s legacy of success and his relentless pursuit of excellence.
1895 – A Barossa legend is born
Born on 19 September 1895 in the Barossa Valley, Hugo Gramp lived and worked his entire life in this world-renowned wine region. Today, his legacy is celebrated in the magnificent new brand home of St Hugo in the Barossa. Hugo’s grandfather, Johann Gramp, was one of the wine pioneers of this revered wine region, planting his first vines in 1847, and starting the wine business that would be later called G Gramp & Sons by Hugo's father Gustav, and that Hugo would one day lead.
Hugo’s entrepreneurial spirit and his quest for excellence inspired new additions to the St Hugo range, including exceptional red wines from Hugo’s beloved home, the Barossa. Today, St Hugo wines are prized by wine collectors and connoisseurs the world over for their profound depth, intensity and complexity.
On 25 October 1938, Hugo Gramp was flying from Adelaide to Melbourne with two other prominent wine industry members, Thomas Hardy and Sidney Hill Smith, when tragedy struck. The Kyeema plane they were travelling on encountered heavy cloud on its approach into Essendon Airport and crashed into Mount Dandenong, instantly taking the lives of all 18 people on board.
An appreciation of fine wines and the secrets to making them ran through the veins of Hugo Gramp. He joined the family business at a young age and proved himself to be a worthy prodigy. At just 25 years of age, Hugo was appointed Managing Director of Gramp & Sons. From 1920 to 1938, he led the winery through a period of unparalleled growth, driven by his inspiring vision of success and his endless pursuit of excellence.
In 1983, Hugo Gramp’s legacy was honoured with the release of the first wine named ‘St Hugo’. The addition of the title ‘St’ was inspired by the charming European tradition of naming vineyards after saints in order to bestow good fortune upon them. Crafted from the outstanding 1980 vintage, the first St Hugo Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon was hailed for its power and elegance, much like the great man himself. Today, more than 30 vintages on, St Hugo continues to set the benchmark for excellence in Australian Cabernet Sauvignon.
In 2016, a new milestone is marked with the opening of the St Hugo home in the Barossa Valley, celebrating Hugo’s lifelong connection to the region. Visitors can experience the enterprising spirit of Hugo Gramp in this beautifully restored ironstone building, featuring an underground tasting room, fine-dining restaurant and a luxurious lounge.