The grapes to produce the Semillon “Louis” Eden Valley Henschke were hand harvested in the cool of the morning, with individual blocks picked separately, always remaining separate throughout the vinification process. Once in the winery, the best grapes were selected using a sorting table, followed by selective technology, before being destemmed, lightly crushed and gently pressed to tanks. Cold-settled juice was fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats with a neutral yeast. A small percentage (5%) of wine was aged for 10 months in seasoned French oak barriques to add complexity to the final blend. The remaining 95% was matured in stainless steel on its lees for 10 months, before assemblage and bottling.
In 1966, Cyril Henschke purchased 32 hectares of land on Cranes Range Road, two kilometres west of the Henschke Cellars at 500 metres above sea level. Here he planted the Henschke Eden Valley vineyard, predominantly with Riesling and Shiraz, on sandy loam soils over gravel and bedrock, with patches of clay. Other varieties were added over the years and a reserve selection from 50-year-old vines is used to make the ‘Louis’ Semillon. The wine is a tribute to Louis Edmund Henschke (1919-1990), the fourth-generation grower of the Hill of Grace vineyard.
The Henschke family have been making wine at their estate in the Eden Valley since 1868. Fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke took over running thewinery in 1979. Together with his viticulturist wife Prue, they have taken their two single vineyards, Hill of Grace and Mount Edelstone, and transformed them into two of Australia’s most sought-after wines. Through a combination of great viticulture from Prue, who is at the forefront of re-introducing native plants into their vineyards to improve biodiversity, and winemaking from Stephen, they have built upon their inheritance and turned this traditional producer in to one that is celebrated all around the world.