Press Release August 18th, 2023

Sevenhill Cellars is elated to announce the success of their 2021 Sevenhill ‘Open Range’ Grenache, being awarded the George Mackey Memorial Perpetual Trophy for Best Grenache at the prestigious 2023 Royal Sydney Wine Show.  

The Royal Sydney Wine Show is the industry benchmark for excellence. The RAS notes “A Sydney Royal win is a testament of achievement at the highest level, and recognises personal dedication, ability, uncompromising diligence, and good old Aussie passion and hard work”. 

In 1849, Fr Aloysius Kranewitter purchased 100 acres of fertile farming land in the Clare Valley region, called 'Open Range'. Renamed 'Sevenhill', after the Seven Hills of Rome, the site has emerged as the birthplace of the Jesuits in Australia. In 1851 Sevenhill Cellars was established, with the inaugural grape vines being planted on the property. The 2021 ‘Open Range’ Grenache is a tribute to the storied lineage of Sevenhill, celebrating provenance and generations of winemaking and viticulture.

Blending 172 years of heritage with innovative practice, in recent years the winery has been working to reinvigorate their vineyards, wine styles and labelling, a continuation of their long legacy and reputation for quality.

The ‘Open Range’ Grenache celebrates this impressive collaboration between traditional winemaking and modern style. Hand-picked and selectively harvested from vines planted in 1920, there is only 240 dozen of this wine produced. Winemaker Will Shields chose to use one third whole bunches in the ferment which were cold soaked for three days. The wine was then hand-plunged twice daily in the historic slate fermenters before being basket pressed to ensure gentle extraction.

"Being a part of Sevenhill's significant legacy is a privilege. This prestigious trophy reaffirms our commitment to expressing the exceptional vineyards that define Sevenhill." Will Shields states, before adding “The Open Range Grenache is a medium-bodied style, with our winemaking focusing on fruit vibrancy and purity to showcase the outstanding old vines”. 

Accepting the award in Sydney, Craig Richards, Viticulturalist of Sevenhill Cellars for 24 years attributes this triumph to an unwavering commitment to sustainability and continual improvement, sharing "We've cultivated a practice that minimises our environmental footprint while enhancing soil health and natural balance. Winning this award underscores our ongoing commitment to innovation and excellence across our operations”.

On the success, Jonathan O’Neill says “The entire Sevenhill Cellars team, board and the Jesuits are thrilled by this outstanding achievement. It’s a wonderful honour for this Grenache to be considered amongst Australia’s best. As the Clare Valley’s first winery, our commitment to producing wines that express our unique estate is unwavering, and this award is a tribute to the dedication of our winemakers, viticulturists, and everyone who contributes to the journey of our wines from vine to bottle".

This follows the success of the 2021 ‘Open Range’ Grenache being awarded 97 points by Ray Jordan for Wine Pilot, and 94 points by Mike Bennie in the 2024 Halliday Wine Companion. 

Jonathan O’Neill, General Manager

0436 326 839