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The wine that took 168 years to make

May 11, 2017

Journey Of South Australian Red

Wine

“The journey, not the destination matters.” T. S. Eliot

On 12 May 2017 Yalumba launched the most impressive wine in our 168-year history – The Caley.

Named in honour of Fred Caley Smith, grandson of Yalumba’s founder Samuel Smith, Fred was a horticulturist who had a profound impact on the development of Yalumba’s orchards and vineyards.

He is best remembered for a ground-breaking research journey he undertook in 1893 and 1894 to the USA, UK, Europe, the Middle East, Sri Lanka and India.

The 29-year-old’s detailed and poignant letters to his father, sent home every few days, were collected and kept in the Yalumba archive and over subsequent generations they have provided inspiration and encouragement for Yalumba’s outward looking international handshake.

Robert Hill-Smith – fifth-generation proprietor of Yalumba – discusses the journey…

“Over 168 years, Yalumba’s journey has been all about vision, fortitude, survival and innovation: about looking onwards and upwards. That journey has also been characterised to a large degree by humility and modesty about our many achievements.

We are now on a new path at Yalumba, emerging from an era started in 1849 and embraced by four generations of my forebears, where it was considered good manners to compliment others rather than oneself.

While I don’t expect these values will change, I think in this modern wine world we need to stand up and be counted. We should no longer hide our light under the canopy!

The Australian wine story has changed too. Aspiration has become a more important element – we are emerging from a period where we tended to cringe a little.

Today we arrive at a point – a speck on the journey – where we can put our hand on our heart and say we have sufficient self-belief to have crafted a luxurious new Australian wine with a Yalumba thumbprint.

And then we will continue to move on.

The Caley is the pinnacle of a long winemaking journey seeking excellence.

It is the result of an unwavering commitment by Yalumba to Australia’s own unique red wine style – Cabernet and Shiraz – from the Galway Clarets of the 1940s, through to The Signature and FDR 1A that started in the 60s and 70s and The Reserve that was created in the 1990s.

Sourced from Yalumba’s own Menzies Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards on Coonawarra’s famed Terra Rossa cigar strip, and two old Shiraz vineyards in the Barossa (Yalumba’s Horseshoe vineyard and the Burgemeister Linke Block), The Caley is structured for longevity.

The Caley brings together the linear elegance, firm tannins and persistent acid structure of Coonawarra Cabernet with the voluptuous, textural richness of Barossa Shiraz.

I see it as a symbol of Yalumba’s perseverance and patience – an acknowledgement of the importance of time in crafting great wine."

Robert Hill-Smith

For those who would like to taste or cellar this historically significant wine, a small allocation of The Caley is now available for purchase online.

The Caley brings together the linear elegance, firm tannins and persistent acid structure of Coonawarra Cabernet with the voluptuous, textural richness of Barossa Shiraz. The Caley is the pinnacle of a long winemaking journey of excellence.