South Australian winemaker Andrew ‘Ox’ Hardy, has launched Ox Hardy, his eponymous range of McLaren Vale wines.
The former Petaluma winemaker started the range as a hobby around the turn of the century with his late father Bob, 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’, features some of Australia’s oldest and most valuable vines.
Drawing from these exceptional vines, Hardy 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. The 2008 vintage of Ox Hardy’s 1891 Ancestor Vine Shiraz consists of around 800 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.
Ox Hardy Wines 1891 Ancestor Vine Shiraz: 2008 Vintage RRP $225; and Upper Tintara Vineyard Shiraz: 2016 Vintage RRP $38 are available at selected premium retailers around Australia.