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The Royals visited Seppeltsfield as part of a single day visit to the Barossa and Adelaide, stopping at the 164 year old winery for a taste of South Australian regional wine, food and art culture. Their Royal Highnesses were welcomed to the Barossa as the first official destination of their Australian visit. 

Following a tour of Seppeltsfield’s cooperage and a meet and greet with artisans of JamFactory art and design studios, Prince Charles and Camilla were provided an immersion of the 1878 Centennial Cellar.  The Centennial Cellar, the vision of Oscar Benno Pedro Seppelt, holds a barrel of Tawny of every vintage from 1878 to current year - one of twelve heritage-listed icons on the Seppeltsfield property. After a viewing of two new commemorative birth year barrels for Prince George and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge prepared by Seppeltsfield, Charles and Camilla were provided a taste of their own birth year Tawny (Australian Port) vintages, direct from barrel. 
The pair finished with a sampling of one of Australia’s most historically significant wines - the 1915 100 year old Para Vintage Tawny. 


The Royal visit coincided with the launch of an expanded suite of tourism experiences for the Centennial Cellar itself. The Barossa Trustmark-endorsed ‘Centenary Tour’, where guests taste minute samples of both their birth year wine and the 100 year old Para Tawny, has been complemented by a new ‘Years of World War I’ and ‘Moments In History’ immersion. The new experiences provide the opportunity for visitors to taste wines made in the years such as the Moon landing (1969), the beginning of World War I (1914) and the sinking of the Titanic (1912).

Mr Warren Randall, proprietor of Seppeltsfield, led the Royal visit whilst at the estate. “We are extremely proud to have hosted the Royals here at Seppeltsfield to showcase South Australian wine, food and art and to soak in the history of the 1878 Centennial Cellar”. “You don’t need to be Royalty though to experience Benno Seppelt’s amazing vision - anyone can visit and do exactly what Prince Charles and Camilla did”, he added. 

Prince Charles and Camilla finished their time at Seppeltsfield with a premium South Australian food showcase, held in the FINO Seppeltsfield restaurant.

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The Seppeltsfield story begins with Joseph Ernst Seppelt, a merchant, who migrated to Australia with his family in 1849, from Silesia, in what is now Poland.

The Seppelt family settled in the Barossa Valley in 1851, and purchased the property now known as Seppeltsfield. The Seppeltsfield area is warm and dry, with only a 500 mm Rainfall, while the soils are heavy and red brown. The Seppelt family vines flourished in this fertile valley and Joseph also encouraged his neighbours to plant vines. Soon the landscape was transformed to lush fields of green and gold vines.


Seppeltsfield’s first vintage was produced in the family dairy. By 1867, Joseph had commenced construction of a full scale winery. Unfortunately he did not live to see it completed, but his enterprising and pioneering spirit lived on after him. His eldest son, Oscar Benno Seppelt worked hard to ensure his father's dream came true. Only 21 years old when he inherited the winery in 1868. It was Benno's influence, more than anything else, which earned Seppeltsfield its reputation for quality wines. From such small beginnings, Benno continued to expand Seppeltsfield until, by the turn of the 20th Century it was Australia's largest winery, producing 2 million litres annually. Later generations continued to expand both wineries and vineyards.


No other Australian wine maker has such comparable stocks of old fortified wines. Back in 1878, when the magnificent stone Seppeltsfield port store was completed, Benno Seppelt selected a puncheon- a 500 litre barrel- of his finest port wine from that vintage and laid it in the new storage maturation cellar. This barrel was to sit for a minimum of 100 years in the one spot and then released as our Seppeltsfield 100 yr old Para Tawny Port. Each year from 1978, the next vintage of the port was released in a 750ml bottle..  For the release of the 1900, (in 2000), it was decided to sell them in 375ml bottles as well as 750ml


Joseph Seppelt was born in 1813 in Gompersdorf and moved to 
Wustewaltersdorf, Silesia in 1841 to conduct a business in manufacturing and selling tobacco, snuff and liqueurs. After completing his education he travelled extensively throughout Germany, Austria and Northern Italy. Upon returning home, he entered the family business but the political and economic disturbances of the 1840s made him think of migrating to a land free of revolts and other social upheavals. He at first apparently considered going to Brazil, but decided to immigrate to Australia like other Germans were doing.

Joseph took his wife, Johanna Charlotte, his two sons, Benno & Hugo, and daughter Ottilie. He also took 13 families from his neighbourhood and a group of young men who had worked in his factory, with the hope of re-establishing the family business. The party left Hamburg on 5th September 1849 on the ship Cezar Helene and disembarked at Strode. They then took the vessel Emmy to Melbourne, where they arrived in January 1850. The ship then went on to Port Adelaide and it is unclear whether the Seppelt group disembarked there or whether they left the ship at Melbourne, and travelled overland to Adelaide. In 1850 the family settled at Klemzig. Whilst residing there Joseph purchased 80 acres at Golden Grove with the intentions of growing tobacco.  After discovering the area was unsuitable for such a crop he was attracted to the Barossa Valley where he and his family moved in 1851.

In February 1852, a deed was registered in Adelaide indicating that Joseph Seppelt farmer, of Seppeltsfield had purchased 158 acres of land in the Hundred of Nuriootpa from Hermann Kook, farmer of Tanunda at a £1 an acre. By this time the Seppelt family had cleared and planted their land with tobacco and wheat and had moved from Tanunda where they had lived for a short period of time. The area again proved unsuitable for the tobacco plant because, although it grew rapidly, the leaf was too strong to be used in the production of tobacco or snuff. However, because of the Victorian gold rushes, high prices were obtained for wheat and so the family had a good economic start.

Joseph then decided to plant vines. Given his manufacturing background and knowledge of liqueur and cordial making it was not surprising that he saw the potential of making wine in the Barossa. He built a cellar and gradually explored markets for his wines until 1867 when he felt confident enough to begin the construction of a full-scale winery.
Unfortunately Joseph Seppelt did not live to see the coming to fruitation of his plans as he died on 29th January 1868 aged 55 years. Johanna Charlotte, Joseph's wife, only survived him a little over two years, dying on 13th April 1870.


After Joseph's death he bequeathed the business to his son, Oscar Benno Pedro Seppelt, who was only 21 years of age. Under the provision of J E Seppelt's will, Benno received 55% of the estate valued at approximately 1000 pounds, Victor Hugo, Joseph's younger son received 30% and his sister Ottilie 15%.  Benno brought them out, paying 5% interest per annum.  Victor did not play a prominent role in the business and died in March 1882. 

Unlike his father, he did not receive the benefits of a European education, but instead attended the local school in Tanunda. An interest in science was stimulated by his attendance at chemistry classes given by Dr C Meucke, who had also given a series of lectures on agricultural chemistry to the Tanunda Vintners & Gardeners Association.

With his determination to succeed and natural ability, Benno set out to expand the family business. He was more than assisted by his wife, Sophie Schroeder, whom he married in November 1870. Over the next 20 years or so, Benno and Sophie had a total of 16 children, 13 of whom (four girls & nine boys) survived to adulthood.

Seppeltsfield was not only a large-scale commercial and industrial enterprise, but was a community. Benno and Sophie extended their responsibility beyond their own personal concerns with the winery, property and household, to their employees, grape growers and the community as a whole. One of the remarkable things about Benno Seppelt was his generosity to the other winemakers, with whom he was always willing to share his experience and knowledge. 

The enthusiasm and thoroughness brought by Benno Seppelt to his business was continued by his sons, who were expected to carry on the family tradition. The four daughters didn't participate in business matters and were restricted to the household where they occupied a supporting role to their mother. In preparation for their future positions in the company, most of Benno's son’s attended Prince Alfred College followed by some further training in viticulture either at home or abroad.
Third Generation - Oscar Benno Seppelt Named after his father, was educated at Prince Alfred College and then spent several years studying at the Royal Viticultural Research Institute in Vienna. As the eldest son he became head of the firm and Chairman of Directors after Benno's death in May 1931. As Oscar had no children by his Viennese wife, Hedwic Cecilia Deichter- Muller, the chairmanship passed to his brother Leo Renato on his retirement in 1939. 

The first daughter to Benno and Sophie was born in 1874, naming her Flora Eugenie. Flora married William Kimber in 1895 and had 6 children.

Their second daughter, Clara Blanca, was born in 1876 and died a spinster in 1963.

The next son, Camillo Pedro Seppelt, attended Prince Alfred College and studied oenology at Roseworthy Agricultural College graduating with a Diploma in Agriculture in 1896 .He then became vineyard manager at Seppeltsfield until 1916 when B Seppelt and Sons acquired Chateau Tanunda from the Adelaide Wine Company. Camillo took over as Manager of the Chateau, a position he held until his death on the 10th May 1935, aged 57. During his early years at Chateau Tanunda, Camillo suffered internal injuries when he tied ropes around his waist and dropped into a deep well to rescue an employee who had fallen in, these may have contributed to his relatively early death. It is believed approximately 2000 people attended his funeral on May 12th 1935.

Udo Waldemar Seppelt was Oscar's third son who, after graduating with a Diploma in Agriculture from the Roseworthy College in 1900 became the company secretary of B Seppelt & Sons. Following his brother Leo Renato’s death in 1942, Udo succeeded to the Chairmanship.

Udo's son, Ian Howe Seppelt (born 1909) was educated at St Peter's College and the University of Adelaide (B.Sc.) followed by a three year period of study at the Montpellier Agricultural College and the Agronomic Institute of Paris. He returned in 1936 and became director of the family company and replaced his late uncle, Camillo, as manager of Chateau Tanunda .In 1956 he was  appointed General Manager of B Seppelt & Sons, a position he held until 1972. He died in 1973, aged 63 

Selma Melitta, the 3rd daughter to Benno and Sophie, born in November 1880 and like her older sister Clara never married and died in 1940.

Xaver Arno Seppelt was born in March 1882, attended Prince Alfred College and gained a Diploma in Agriculture at Roseworthy In 1903 he joined the office staff at B Seppelt & Sons Ltd at Seppeltsfield. Two years later he transferred to the Adelaide office and in 1906 was sent to Brisbane to open a branch office. Xaver remained Managing Director of Queensland until 1922 when he moved to Sydney to establish a branch. Xaver retired in 1940 and died in 1963.

Leo Renato Seppelt was born 15 months after his brother Xaver Arno. He followed the same path as Xaver attending Prince Alfred College & Roseworthy Agricultural College and then joining the company. After receiving a thorough training in every sphere of the wine business he became Manager of the Adelaide office. In 1939 he took over as Chairman from his older brother Oscar, who was 69 years of age. Leo died suddenly on the 21st of October 1942 at his home in Glenelg, aged 59. The Chairman of Directors and General Manager's position was passed to his brother Udo Waldemar. 

Both of Leo's sons, John Rothwell Seppelt (born 1913) and Robert Leo Seppelt (born 1916) joined the family firm. John attended St Peter's College. He became a director of B Seppelt & Sons Ltd in 1939, but from 1941 to 1946 served overseas as a flying officer with the RAAF. After the war he developed the marketing and advertising side of the business. Robert Leo Seppelt attended St Peter's College and became director of B Seppelt & Sons ltd in 1942. He assumed a prominent role in the firm and in the industry as a whole. Robert Leo held the position of Chairman of Directors until 1984 and then he stood down due to the share market struggle for control of B Seppelt & Sons.


The next two sons to be born to Benno and Sophie Seppelt, Marco Dominico Seppelt and Norbert Erno Seppelt, took no part in the family business. Marco, a bachelor, lived most of his life in the USA and was thought to be an engineer. Norbert Erno qualified as a doctor and resided in England.

Joseph Gerold was born in 1888 and trained as an architect. However , he also joined B Seppelt & Sons in Fremantle. Joseph Gerold's, son Karl Joseph Seppelt (born 1930) was educated at St Ignatius College in Sydney and Roseworthy Agricultural College. In 1954 Karl Seppelt became Chief Viticulturist with B Seppelt & Sons Ltd, a position he held until 1972. From 1972 to 1979 he was General Manager of the Company, in 1979 he became Managing Director, a position he held until the take-over of Seppelt’s by South Australia Brewing Holdings Ltd in 1985. Since then Karl and his family have established their own winery at Mt Pleasant. Joseph’s other son, Gerold Benno Seppelt was also a director of the company for many years until the 1985 takeover.

Benno and Sophie’s last daughter, Vera Viola, was born in April 1890 and married Clement William Kingston Lake. Together they had 4 children. Vera died in Adelaide in 1966.

The last child to be born to Oscar and Sophie Seppelt was Tuisko Turso in 1891. After attending Prince Alfred College he joined the Queensland Branch in 1910 and stayed there until 1917 when he was appointed Victorian Managing Director. His son, Hilton Mervyn joined in 1936 after returning from Montpellier Agricultural College to head Winemaking and operations. Tuisko died in 1957.

The Seppelt family was unusual (but not unique) in the extent to which they became involved in the wine trade, and it was this plus the extent of its operations in Australia that gave the company its special quality.

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The Seppeltsfield vineyards span over 100 hectares and include plantings of Barossa’s traditional grape varieties Shiraz and Grenache. Small plantings of the traditional European fortified varieties of Touriga (for VP –‘vintage port” style) and Palomino (for the “Sherry” styles) are also within the estate's holdings.Whilst Seppeltsfield's vineyards span broadly across the Western ridge of the Barossa, it is the Great Terraced Vineyard, located on the estate propeprty itself, that is prized highest.


The Great Terraced Vineyard comprises of bush vine Grenache plantings (vines without wire trellis) and range from 60-80 years of age. The complete vineyard is planted in contours of which follow the natural shape of the land, giving rise to a manicured appearance especially when viewed from above.

Traditionally, the Great Terraced Grenache would have been used entirely for the production of fortified wine, however we are now proud to be utilising some parcels for the crafting of premium table wines.

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Fortified winemaking is an immensely challenging category as it covers every facet of winemaking skill, incorporating a vast range of styles requiring the knowledge and moulding together of traditional and modern winemaking techniques.

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13 different wines with 20 vintages


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Wine Moments

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 Andrew Caillard MW, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  6 wines  from  Seppeltsfield . In a tasting of  6 wines 

2020 Seppeltsfield Great Terraced Vineyard Grenache, Barossa Valley 170th Anniversary / Medium deep crimson. Attractive musky plum, strawberry pastille aromas with hints of sage and star anise. Medium bodied, supple and lacy textured with dark plum, strawberry, raspberry touch flavours, attractive mid-palate negroni like viscosity, fine plentiful looseknit tannins and integrated fresh acidity. Finishes chalky firm, pure fruited and minerally. Delicious early to medium term wine. Drink now – 2028 14.5% Alc 96 points

3m 9d ago

 Jeremy Oliver, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Seppeltsfield . In a tasting of  15 wines 

Penfolds Bin 111A Shiraz 2016 (Clare Valley, Barossa Valley, $1500, 14.5%) A deep, alluring perfume of dark berries, cassis and dark plums knit with smoky, tight-gained French oak slowly unfolds meaty, chocolatey and ferrous undertones backed by suggestions of mint and iodide. Underpinned by a textural, gravelly spine, its layered, densely packed palate of black, red and blue fruits extends with energy, harmony and style towards a measured, lingering finish. There’s an underlying hint of dark chocolate and roasting tray. It will age slowly, developing remarkable grace and elegance.      
19.5/20, 98/100, drink 2046-2056+

2y 8d ago

 Jamie Goode, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Seppeltsfield . In a tasting of  21 wines 

Seppeltsfield Para Tawny 1884 Barossa, Australia. Seppeltsfield have an unbroken line of tawny ports in bottle from 1878-2012. Amazingly intense nose of treacle, spice, raisin, balsamic vinegar. Viscous and amazingly concentrated. Powerful, spicy flavours with treacle, molasses, raisins and stunning acidity. Some crème brulee too.  A remarkable experience. 98/100

2y 25d ago

 Jancis Robinson MW, Wine Writer (United Kingdom)  tasted  1 wines  from  Seppeltsfield . In a tasting of  15 wines 

Dom Pérignon 2008 / 18.5p / This keenly-anticipated wine has deliberately been held back to be released after the Dom Pérignon 2009 and in fact will not be released commercially until towards the end of 2018 (although it already seems pretty good to me). Geoffroy reminded me that the growing season was no picnic - in fact he described all but the end of it as 'miserable' because it was so overcast and the disease pressure was so high. Fine weather at the end finally ripened the grapes though acid levels were notably high. I wondered whether, since the grapes were harvested just as the global financial crisis was beginning to bite, they reduced the quantity made of Dom P, but no. 'We made lots!', he assured me. 
Brisk, tiny mousse. Notably rich nose - very Dom P! There's a hint of something marine on the nose (Michael Broadbent's oyster shells?) and then extremely tight and lacy - it somehow reminded me of a sponge because of springy texture. Masses of energy here, as well as the usual flirtatiousness. It will continue to open out, I'm sure. I tasted it very cool and then went back to it at almost room temperature a couple of hours later and it stood up extremely well. The official Geoffroy description of this vintage is 'athletic' and 'vertical'. 'All 2008s are bright in terms of fruit; we want ours to shine white light. We have deliberately warmed it up a bit, working on the muscle to better integrate the acidity.'

2y 10m ago

 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Seppeltsfield . In a tasting of  45 wines 

BWW-Finalist Dinner at restaurant Palace with 40 finalists.

3y 9m ago

 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Seppeltsfield . In a tasting of  23 wines 

Hill of Grace 2012 / So how did one of our most iconic wines fare in a great year? If anything, it exceeded the enormously lofty heights expected of it. Technically, 85% French oak, the remainder American. 58% of all oak was new. 18 months in the oak before the separate parcels from the vineyard were blended. Great intensity, complexity, immaculate balance, extraordinary length. Black cherries, aniseed, bacon fat, animal hides, soy sauce and an eerily smoky note that weaves amongst the flavours. So silky, you feel that you’d slip if you tried to get a hold of it. This is undoubtedly a great HoG, but only time, and lots of it, will tell if it is the greatest of all. It is a contender. 

Score: 99/100

Best drinking: how long have you got? 30 years? 40, 50? 

Alc: 14.5%

4y 2m ago

 Stuart Robinson, Wine Blogger (Australia)  tasted  1 wines  from  Seppeltsfield . In a tasting of  15 wines 

Turkey Flat White Blend 2015  /A blend of Marsanne (63%), Viognier (19%) and Roussanne (18%).Scents of white florals, suggestive stonefruit and of a little vanilla creme patisserie.

Honeyed nuances, a little nougat, under-ripe mandarin segments; zest and gentle spice. Early - judicious - picking has given a line of acid about which layers of texture hang, like mille-feuille of flavour and mouthfeel.

Good length, carried about acid, a little toastiness. Enough about it to make it one to both seek to consume and to savour. 91

4y 6m ago

 Ken Gargett, Wine Writer (Australia)  tasted  4 wines  from  Seppeltsfield . In a tasting of  21 wines 

“Cracker pinot. Very much in the funky, complex, exotic mould. Has earthy notes, some red berries and cherry flavours. Gentle and fragrant. There is a stalky note. Interestingly, maker Timo Mayer concedes that “it looks like it but it doesn't” actually have any stalks. Such is the vineyard. Good structure. Good length. To use an outdated, and often detested, expression, so apols in advance, this is very much in the “feminine” spectrum of pinots. It has an elegant complexity.Neither fined nor filtered”

8y 10m ago

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