Hill of Grace – Celebrating 60 Years.

by Andrew Caillard MW

Hill of Grace – Celebrating 60 Years.

The 60th anniversary release of Henschke Hill of Grace was marked with a wonderful tasting of vintages going back to the first 1958 vintage. These moments were a cause for reflection as the vineyard has become one of the foundations of Australia’s modern fine wine narrative. Although Hill of Grace was in the rain shadow of Penfolds Grange during the 1960s and 1970s, its stature and historical relevance became better understood during the 1980s. A combination of brilliant vineyard husbandry and technical winemaking skills brought the vineyard into sharper relief. On the other hand a succession of very fine older vintages is proof that the vineyard itself was well cared for and the more rudimentary winemaking of Cyril Henschke, was completely aligned with the times.

The 1958 Vintage was a surprising revelation and perhaps proved that good bottles and well preserved wines are also a result of some luck too. The story of Hill of Grace, however, must also included the practical work in generating more market interest during the mid-to-late 1980s. Wine merchants Arch Baker, Judy and Rob Hirst did much to put the Henschke brand on the map. This was echoed by the rising interest in the secondary wine market when auction prices doubled in 1995 and then doubled again in 1996 (after an internal recorking programme in 1994).

Read the full sory and all the tasting notes, click here!


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