In 2007 we had to make a tough choice between the outstanding 2002 Penfolds Grange and the 2002 Henschke Hill of Grace .
Having tasted a variety of previous vintages of both labels, we had decided it was too close to call. In the end, price was the deciding factor as we were able to acquire a 2002 Hill of Grace for slightly less than a Grange.
The wine is grown in Eden valley in South Australia by generations of the Henschke family. From the official site, the following description describes the location and the history behind the name:
“Hill of Grace: this surely is one of the most evocative phrases in the world of wine. It is a translation from the German ‘Gnadenberg’, a region in Silesia, and the name given to the lovely Lutheran Church across the road.
For Henschke it is the name of both the vineyard and the wine that has so captured the heart of the red wine lover. The 8ha single vineyard on the original 32ha block sits at an altitude of 400m, and has an average rainfall of 520mm. It is situated at Parrot Hill, an isolated spot that was once an active village.”
Also from the official site, the vines planted in the vineyard are as follows:
“Shiraz (on own roots) – vines originate from pre-phylloxera material brought from Europe by the early European settlers; riesling, semillon, mataro”
Which means that the original vines come from the mid 19th century and could be considered amongst some of the oldest in the world, since Australia was never affected by the nasty strain of phylloxera which ravaged vines in Europe and North America.