OUR STORY

The story of Chalk Hill starts in 1839 when John Harvey arrived in Adelaide, which was then a three-year-old colony of just 6,000 people.

John was the second person to plant grapes north of Adelaide in the town he established and named Salisbury, in honour of his wife's birthplace in England. Little did he realise that he was starting a grape-growing and wine-making heritage that continues six generations and over 180 years later.

“Both my father Walter Harvey and I moved from Salisbury to establish vineyards in McLaren Vale, after recognising the superior grape growing conditions here,” says the current John Harvey, patriarch of Chalk Hill.

“The vineyard I purchased in Willunga was first planted with Grenache in 1897 and these centurions are still producing fantastic grapes today. It was also this vineyard where Diana and I made our home and raised three children – Kate, Jock and Tom.

“Today, they are all involved in the wine community, with Kate a General Manager at Wine Australia, Jock running his own vineyards and Tom running Chalk Hill Wines. So, I guess you could say the sixth generation is keeping the family wine heritage alive!”

Today Chalk Hill has five vineyards across McLaren Vale, including the Chalk Hill vineyard that was planted in 1969 and is now home to the newly opened Chalk Hill Tasting Room.

The Chalk Hill brand started organically, as John explains: “Our focus was growing grapes for some of the best wineries in Australia. Each year we kept a few parcels of grapes to make some wine for gifting to family and friends, but that soon changed when we started getting hit up for orders before the grapes were picked. The business grew out of a demand instead of a business plan, and largely on the philosophy of making great wines to share with friends."

“Wine tells a story of the place we live. It shows the climate over the growing season, the soil in which it was grown, and the way the grapes have been tended to from the vineyard to the bottle. There can be nothing more beguiling, rewarding and enjoyable experience than trying to discover this story with friends and loved ones.”