Hugo Wines is situated in the McLaren Vale wine region which continues to build on its reputation as a source of quality wines not only from the big national labels but also from some of the smaller boutique wineries.
The story of Hugo Wines is intrinsically linked to the property on which the vineyard is established.
With the original estate being purchased by winemaker John Hugo's maternal great grandfather, George Sauerbier, who was born in 1860 and died in 1936. At that time whatever was planted or farmed had to not only survive but thrive and produce, in the soil and climatic conditions of the area.
There was no additional water and the science involved in agriculture as we know it today was in its infancy. Machinery was limited and majority of tasks were performed by hand, quite often with the aid of magnificent heavy horses which have now been replaced by tractors and harvesters.
The family first farmed the land in the early 1900's , previously a Southdown sheep stud, cattle, dairy, almonds, grapes to produce wine for personal consumption, tomatoes in glass houses and cropping land.
John's parents Colin and Gwendoline Hugo (nee Sauerbier) made a home on the property where the original dry grown Grenache bush vines that are still used today, were planted by them in 1951.
With the day to day tasks required to run a vineyard at that time, the family employed the help of hand picking gangs, of which members would return year after year and capable pruners that knew the vines like the back of their hand. These tasks were not restricted only to men as some of the local women would come handpicking for the vintage to help with the household budget.
Now under the leadership of John and Liz Hugo, Hugo Wines vineyards extend across 24 hectares, with grape varieties including Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
When John took over the reins from his father Colin, he decided to produce the wine under the guidance of well-known winemaker Wayne Thomas.
John opened the cellar door in 1982, with the first wines being Shiraz and Tawny produced from the estate grown fruit.
The cosy award winning cellar door facility that now houses Hugo Wines was opened in 1998 and offers customers panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards whilst tasting wines and extra virgin olive oil from the estate, with the gallery offering works by talented local artists.
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