Hill of Grace
Hill of Grace 2010
100% shiraz grapes from pre-phylloxera material brought from Europe by the early settlers in the mid-1800s and grown organically and biodynamically on the Hill of Grace vineyard in the Eden Valley.
Harvest Date: 19 March-4 April | Alcohol: 14.5% | pH: 3.52 | Acidity: 6.6g/L
Matured in 65% new and 35% seasoned (95% French and 5% American) hogsheads for 18 months prior to blending and bottling.
Over 165 years ago Johann Christian Henschke came from Silesia to settle and farm in the Eden Valley region. By the time third-generation Paul Alfred Henschke took over the reins in 1914, the famous Hill of Grace vines were more than 50 years old. They were planted around the 1860s by an ancestor, Nicolaus Stanitzki, in rich alluvial soil in a shallow fertile
valley just north-west of the winery. The red-brown earth grading to deep silty loam has
excellent moisture-holding capacity for these dry-grown vines, which sit at an altitude of 400m, with an average rainfall of 520mm. Hill of Grace is a unique, delineated, historic
single vineyard that lies opposite a beautiful old Lutheran church which is named after a
picturesque region in Silesia called Gnadenberg, meaning Hill of Grace. Cyril Henschke made the first single-vineyard shiraz wine from this vineyard in 1958 from handpicked grapes vinified in traditional open-top fermenters.
The 2010 growing season was preceded by above average winter rainfall. Spring was mild with little frost damage and gave us an even budburst. The weather remained cold and wet through spring, which held back growth until a two-week high 30s heat wave in November affected flowering and fruit set. Spring rains continued into early summer right through until mid-December, making it the wettest year since 2005. The vines responded to the heat and grew vigorously until early January, developing lush canopies, but bunch development
suffered as a result.
A roller-coaster ride of heat spikes and cool changes continued through a warm summer with occasional thunderstorms. The vines went through veraison a week earlier than 2009. Lower yields coupled with the mild ripening period resulted in concentrated fruit. Vintage began a week earlier than 2009 and was in full swing by mid-February. The white vintage was all but finished a month later while the red harvest continued with deeply coloured, well-balanced grapes being picked during mild, dry conditions until the end of April.
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