Established in 1944 by the Linder Family, St Hallett represents the very spirit and soul of winemaking in the Barossa. Over this time, it has grown and changed and reinvented itself, to achieve a rare distinction as one of Australia's most respected wine brands. For most of that time it was owned, or part owned, by one family, the pioneering Lindners, who arrived in the Barossa from Silesia in 1838. Through grim determination, heartbreak and near financial collapse the Lindner family managed to make a meagre living – initially from ports and sherries and marsala – in their galvo shed in the middle of the Barossa.
More than 70 years on from these humble beginnings, St Hallett has established a reputation for making wines with exceptional quality and character. From the beginning, St Hallett understood the importance of saving old vines and focusing on varieties that thrive in the Barossa region – particularly Shiraz. Over the years, St Hallett has built up a deep understanding of the rich tapestry of vineyard sites and climates in the Barossa, and with this, an appreciation for and understanding of local growers and the finest vines and highest-quality parcels of fruit the Barossa can offer. By tailoring fermentation and maturation to each parcel, the St Hallett winemaking team reveal the rich textures, depth and diversity of Barossa wine, as it should be.
Stuart Blackwells winemaking career spans more than four decades, two continents and four regions. The consistency, reliability and diversity of the Barossa’s grapes and the availability of old vine fruit lured him to stay in the world-famous region. Following a stint in McLaren Vale, Stuart first joined St Hallett in 1972 in an era when fortified wine was king. In 1975 Stuart travelled to South Africa to diversify his winemaking experience. He returned to Australia and St Hallett in 1984 and has fulfilled many roles at the winery including General Manager, Chief Winemaker and Head Greenkeeper. During this time he has overseen a shift to table wine and has established St Hallett as one of the Barossa’s most iconic producers of Shiraz and Riesling.
Stuarts wines have received many accolades in domestic and international wine shows throughout his career and he was recognised as ‘Barossa Winemaker of the year’ by his peers in 2003 and became a Baron of the Barossa in the same year. Stuart cites the evolution in style and quality of St Hallett wines and the broad distribution into some of the world’s finest restaurants as his proudest achievements. The pedigree and esteem of Old Block shiraz and Blackwell Shiraz are a testament to his abilities and commitment to the Barossa and St Hallett.