Oliver's Taranga achieves a rare milestone this year - racking up 170 years of grape growing in South Australia's McLaren Vale.
The third oldest known family business in Australia including present day vigneron Don Oliver (fifth generation), winemaker Corrina Wright (sixth generation) and Cellar Door Manager Brioni Oliver (sixth generation) is planning to make it a big one, honouring a tradition started by their "great, great, great, great grandfather".
"170 years of continuous family ownership - with a few small hiccups and many more triumphs along the way - is something worth celebrating," said Corrina. "There are stories to be told and parties to be had," she said.
"2011 not only marks 170 years for Oliver's Taranga, it will also be the year that we begin the conversion of our vineyards to certified organic and when we release our first McLaren Vale Vermentino," said Corrina.
Oliver's Taranga began in 1841 when Scottish migrants William and Elizabeth Oliver settled in McLaren Vale immediately planting orchards and vineyards. William and Elizabeth prospered on the property, located in the "Seaview" sub-region of McLaren Vale.
The Oliver family are renowned grape growers. Oliver's Shiraz has been supplied to make Penfold's Grange consistently over the years and Don Oliver was awarded the inaugural Viticulturist of the Year by the McLaren Vale Grape Wine & Tourism Association in 2005.
In 1875, the Adelaide Chronicles wrote, referring to Don's great-great-grandfather: "Although Mr Oliver's farm operations are large scale, it is evident from the quality of his wine that he has not neglected his vineyard and cellar" (July 10, 1875).
Since 1994, when Corrina convinced her uncles and grandfather to let her have some fruit from the vineyard to make wine from, the Oliver's Taranga vineyards have been producing wines under their own label, welcoming Corrina back officially as the winemaker in 2000.
A limited museum commemorative wine from the revered 2002 vintage will be released this year and a celebration for 170 people to take place at the Oliver's Taranga property is also planned for October this year.
Stay tuned for more news about Oliver's Taranga's 170th year.