Murray Marchant, the father of Penfold’s Grange Hermitage 1951 Vintage, was guest of honour at a special Leconfield lunch over the weekend.
The event celebrated the 50th anniversary of Dr Richard Hamilton’s time as a surgeon and the release of its 2018 Richard Hamilton Centurion 126 Year Old Vine Shiraz.
The Centurion vineyard, which was planted in 1892 and sits on some of the best soils in the district and is regarded as the region’s oldest crop of vines, consists of a modest 12 rows situated at the back of Leconfield’s Hut Block Vineyard, so named after the old picker’s hut on the property.
The lunch was hosted by Dr Richard Hamilton and his wife Jette, owners of Leconfield.
Now in his 90s, Marchant was involved with Max Schubert making Grange at Magill Estate in the 1950’s and 1960’s before moving to the Hamilton family winery.
In 1968, Marchant persuaded the Hamilton family to start making reds in the Grange style using techniques such as open concrete fermenters, Malolactic fermentation (which was quite new at the time) and small wood maturation.
Today, Marchant is the last surviving winemaker from the old Hamilton Ewell Winery in Marion.
“It was an absolute pleasure to host Murray at our luncheon on Sunday,” Dr Hamilton said.
“Murry is part of our much revered history and an important contributor to our long journey as Australia’s oldest continuously family owned winemaking business in Australia.
“The original plantings represent some of the first and best in the district. This site and the resultant wines have gained great notoriety within the area and throughout Australia.”
The luncheon included a four-course meal paired with Leconfield, Richard Hamilton and Syn wines including the 2018 Richard Hamilton ‘Centurion’ 126 Year Old Vine Shiraz.
Pictured main: Richard Hamilton, Jim Smith, Murray Marchant, Paul Gordon