Benno Seppelt not only helped produce a very large family, but in the decade after his father’s death he established vineyards to supply a thriving winery alongside all his other property and farming interests, mainly producing fortified wines in the style of Port. All good commercial sense ! But what moved him in 1878 to lay down a barrel of his best each vintage with the declared intention of ageing it for 100 years ?
This ‘point of difference’ (the australian equivalent of USP) has rewarded the Seppeltsfield business more than he could have dreamed…. People queue up to pay alot to taste and buy small amounts of these extraordinary wines, the oldest in Australia; still very palatable, treacly and smooth. As each barrel’s centenary comes up, it is opened and used; at every vintage another is laid down. That is serious forward planning; perhaps equivalent only to planting trees for the future !
Seppeltsfield winery survived a nasty brush with corporates (Fosters, briefly!) at the turn of this century and is now enjoying a tremendous revival of its family style, even making use of the old gravity fill tanks (below) alongside cutting edge technologies.
Tap on the photos to see the 2010 work force replicating their 1890 predecessors.