Sevenhill Winery

14 Nov

Austrian Jesuit priests founded Sevenhill in the Clare Valley, about 130 km. north of Adelaide. Today Sevenhill is still the Jesuits home, the winery and a retreat house.

Sevenhill Cellars was established after the 1850s to provide sacramental wine to the parishes throughout Australia.
 The underground cellar for the winery was excavated by hand and the winery building was constructed from stone quarried on the property.

Local slate and sandstone was used to build the winery and St. Aloysius Church which sits close by. The church is the only church in Australia with a crypt for deceased Jesuit priests beneath it.

Sevenhill grapes, 19 varieties some of which come from very old vines, produce low yield wines. The resulting rich and concentrated fruit produces rich bodied wines.

The hot summer months are tempered by the elevation of the winery which experiences cool nights. With good winter/spring rain  the region is right for growing grapes.

The  Jesuit owned winery is a non-profit that still provides wines to Australian churches for sacramental rites.

Brother John May has lived at Sevenhill for 50 years. He works closely with a lay winemaking team to produce the wines. Brother John showed us the original wine cellar, cool with oak casks lined up in dark rows.

Walking around the vineyard with him we got an appreciation of the integration between the wine growing at Sevenhills and the spiritual life of the community. Watching him touch the vines and show the budding fruit was a quiet and joyful experience.

The land has a number of stone buildings and other structures scattered about the property. Some are ruins. One of my favorites was a hand-stacked stone chapel with an arched roof.

4 Responses to “Sevenhill Winery”

  1. Dede November 15, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    So beautiful Jill. And so different from our Finger Lakes wine landscape.
    Did you do a tasting??

    • Jill November 16, 2012 at 2:47 am #

      No didn’t taste as we had a long drive home. We are going out today nearer home to see another estate and will taste. The Clare Valley is known for Riesling…we had some at Jill and Paul’s. So good.

  2. Ursula Freer November 15, 2012 at 4:06 am #

    Great photos as usual! It never rains where you go? Getting pretty cold in SF now.

    • Jill November 15, 2012 at 6:58 am #

      It is these great Mediterranean climates. The weather is beautiful almost everyday. Today it is a little cloudy. Most days it is sunshine and blue skies between 65 and 75.

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