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Henry's Drive, the story

During the nineteenth century establishment of the farming and wine industries of southeastern South Australia, horse-drawn coaches provided the only transportation of mail and passengers. The coach drivers reigned supreme on top of their coaches, and won the respect and admiration of their passengers. The coach service proprietor in this part of the state was a certain Mr. Henry John Hill. His operation drove directly through a property owned more recently by three generations of the Longbottom family of Padthaway. Routes were known as Drives, thus the family’s wine business is today known as Henry’s Drive.


Henry's Drive is situated in the Padthaway district of South Australia, around 180 miles south east of Adelaide. It is naturally cooler than the more northerly Barossa Valley or McLaren Vale but warmer and more consistent than Coonawarra, some 50 miles south, with which it shares a similar, former sea-bed, geology. The property is owned by the Longbottom family, who have been farmers in Padthaway since the 1940s. Their first vintage was in 1998.


The vintages


The Australian wine industry experienced  Reduced crop levels across almost all varieties.  Overall, the dry season conditions have helped to deliver a sound and generally disease-free vintage, with lower yields resulting in grapes of above average to excellent quality.  The decline in the 2003 vintage is largely attributable to widespread lower drought-affected yields in both cool and warm climate regions, and cool weather during initial bud formation prior to the 2002 harvest. 



Henry's Drive, the wines


Fermentation is in temperature controlled stainless steel, with regular pumping-over, then the wines are run-off warm to barrel to finish fermentation and malolactic. The Shiraz is aged for 14 months in American oak (50% new).


"Lush and voluptuous...concentrated, heady, full-bodied personality with tremendously pure blackberry and cassis fruit intertwined with smoky oak and charcoal notes. This impressive, glycerin-filled, New World, full-throttle/pedal to the metal Shiraz may be over the top for some tasters, but it is stunning stuff made in a modern, fruit-driven, extravagantly rich style. Drink it over the next 10-12 years."  The Wine Advocate.

Reserve Shiraz

The Shiraz Reserve is a selection of the finest barrels that has been aged in 100% new American oak for 13 months.   


"...displays the extraordinary fruit quality achieved by South Australia's top vineyards. The color is opaque blue/purple. The aromatics reveal gorgeous scents of blackberries, blueberries, cassis, pepper, licorice, and new oak. Formidably concentrated, extremely full-bodied and opulent, it is a fabulously concentrated, hedonistic effort. This is what "pleasure" drinking is all about. Forget terroir, and all the pseudo intellectuals with their phony rhetoric about transparency, and criticism of wines that "taste too good." This is uncompromised, unadulterated, pure pleasure."  The Wine Advocate.


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