The grapes to produce the Riesling Eden Valley Peter Lehmann Hill & Valley were picked in the cool of the night and cold settled overnight before racking and cold fermentation in stainless steel tanks. Following a two week fermentation period, the wine was clarified and bottled in spring.
The grapes were sourced from three of the estate’s top-performing vineyards on the eastern slopes of Eden Valley. This east-facing side is particularly cool as it lies at over 400 metres above sea level. The acidic sandy soils in this area are ideal for enhancing the natural acid balance of the fruit.
Peter Lehmann started his own winery in 1979, partly as a means of helping with the glut of grapes then afflicting the Barossa. “I’ll take your grapes and turn them into wine,” he told the desperate growers, many of them conservative farmers of Silesian descent who regarded their old vines as part of their patrimony. “But I’ll only be able to pay you when I sell the wine.” They gratefully accepted. Without this deal, it is widely thought that the Barossa would have lost a large swathe of its old vines. The crisis passed, in large part thanks to Peter’s energy and vision, and the Lehmann winery became one of the Barossa’s – and Australia’s – outstanding wineries.
The “Hill & Valley” wines are made from fruit selected, often from single vineyards, in the Barossa Valley and from the higher reaches of the adjacent Eden Valley. The barrel-fermented Chardonnay, made from a vineyard in Wilton planted with new Dijon clones, is a bright and restrained example of the new style of Australian Chardonnay. The Riesling, also from the Eden Valley, is pristine and limey, while the Shiraz, made with fruit sourced from six different sub-districts of the Barossa, is lifted, vibrant and modern.