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In 2021 Seppelt celebrated 170 years of winemaking heritage, making it one of Australia’s most historic wine producers. Today, it offers a taste of what central Victoria has to offer, from Heathcote’s opulence to the brooding intensity of the Grampians and the elegant delicacy of Henty.
To tell the tale of Seppelt, is to tell a tale of two cities (and two Josephs) – and to tell a lot more than that, let’s jump in. In 1851, Prussian-born Joseph Seppelt purchased land in the Barossa, naming his new estate Seppeltsfield. Meanwhile in Victoria, Joseph Best was establishing himself as a cattle saleyard, servicing the meat demands of a growing goldrush population. He then bought vineyards, notably St Peters, and founded the Great Western winery in 1865. The winery performed extremely well and by 1900 had become the largest wine company in Australia. It was placed on the market in 1918 and was secured that year by Oscar Benno Pedro Seppelt, grandson of Joseph Seppelt. The House of Seppelt had arrived!
The Drives at Seppelt’s Great Western home snake through an underground labyrinth more than three kilometres long. This cool, dimly-lit series of tunnels represents the largest underground cellar in the southern hemisphere and is filled with hidey-holes, caged vaults and prized wines stashed behind locked wrought iron gates. When Joseph Best purchased the estate in 1865, he quickly set to work getting underground, commissioning the many great gold-rush diggers to assist with the excavation. At a consistent 15-16 degrees all year round, it remains an impeccable location for wine maturation and an important part of the Seppelt story.
Grampians, Heathcote, Henty
Shiraz, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sparkling, Sparkling Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon
Growing up on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, Clare Dry was never going to be able to escape a love of premium Chardonnay. After completing a Bachelor of Oenology from the University of Adelaide, Clare worked for many wineries and vineyards in Mornington and abroad in Germany, before joining Wolf Blass in 2007. For the next 13 vintages she developed and honed her skills, and in 2020 was appointed Chief Winemaker at Seppelt.
"I really love what Adam Carnaby did at Seppelt over the past 10 years – pushing that cool-climate category in the range. He did a great job, and I’m the lucky one who gets to build on that legacy..."