Tuesday 30 July 2019
One of Australia’s most successful and respected winemakers, Andrew ‘Ox’ Hardy, has launched Ox Hardy, an eponymous range of wines that represents a rare and precious combination of people, vineyard, history and winemaking provenance.
Starting as a hobby around the turn of the century, Andrew and his late father, Bob started making small amounts of Shiraz from the last remaining 2.54ha block of 1891 Ancestor Vines on their family’s Upper Tintara Vineyard. The block, planted by Andrew’s great-great grandfather Thomas Hardy, known as the ‘Father of the South Australian Wine Industry’, is one of Australia’s most important viticultural assets featuring some of Australia’s oldest and most valuable vines.
Drawing from these exceptional vines and more than 36 years of winemaking experience, Andrew persisted in making small amounts of 1891 Ancestor Vine Shiraz each vintage, which he claims to have been ‘a bit like ripping up $100 bills in the shower’. The limited amounts of hand crafted wine produced from this block were cellared and hidden from the public for two decades until the first release this month.
Today, this vertical line-up of Shiraz is a stunning showcase of the quality of the Upper Tintara Vineyard, the precious nature of the 1891 Ancestor Vines and Andrew’s abundant winemaking talents. Due to the limited amount of 1891 Ancestor Vines remaining, the wine is made in extremely small quantities. The first 2008 vintage of Ox Hardy’s 1891 Ancestor Vine Shiraz has been released with around 800 perfectly cellared bottles that will be sold on a strict allocation basis.
Alongside the momentous release of the 1891 Ancestor Vine Shiraz is the Upper Tintara Vineyard Shiraz. Affectionately named ‘Little Ox’, this 2016 Shiraz has been sourced from millenium Shiraz plantings on the Hardy family’s Upper Tintara Vineyard. Purchased by Thomas Hardy in McLaren Vale in 1871, the picturesque 141ha property is also home to the original Upper Tintara Winery, which fell into disuse in 1923 following Thomas Hardy’s passing in 1912. In 2018, Andrew ‘Ox’ Hardy made wine in the original slate open fermenters for the first time in 95 years, a sign of the unique and exceptional wines still to come.
Each element of these inaugural Ox Hardy wines are precious in their own right, but the circumstances that have finally brought them together makes them a treasure of the Australian wine industry.