Hesketh produce exceptional wines and their alternate varietals have caused quite a stir around WDHQ, leaving many a Tasting Panel member weak at the knees. They also co-own Vickery wines with John Vickery, the master and godfather of Australian Riesling. There aren’t too many staff orders that don’t feature a bottle or 3 of one of these wines.
A bit more on Hesketh...
The Hesketh family have a long association with the Lehmann dynasty. Robert Hesketh originally formed Masterson wines with Peter Lehmann in the late 70’s – which became Peter Lehmann Wines in 1982.
This company saved plenty of Barossa growers from going under during the vine pull scheme in the 80s. This work also saved a lot of priceless old Barossa vines from being pulled.
Today, Robert and Peter’s sons, Jonathon Hesketh and Phil Lehmann are Hesketh wines; Jonathon as owner, Phil as chief winemaker. They have Barossa vineyards and source fruit from elsewhere including the Coonawarra and Austria. Yep, for several years Hesketh released a stunning Austrian Grüner Veltliner. Ask us really nicely and we might find you a bottle or two of the brilliant 2008.
All of the alternative varietals released under the Hesketh ‘Small Parcels’ range are produced from Barossa Valley fruit but also offer an element of vinous ventriloquism too. The wines taste clearly of the Barossa dirt in which they are farmed, yet have the seemingly magic ability to evoke their homelands… the Negroamaro sees you at a long table, dining with family in the Northern Italian sun, the Temp takes you to an all night tapas bar in San Sebastian, laughing with friends and nibbling on weird and wonderful tapas…
More on Vickery...
Phil Lehmann also works in conjunction with John Vickery to make the Vickery series of Riesling for Hesketh. According to Jeffrey Grosset, himself a legendary Riesling producer, John Vickery is in the same league as Max Schubert, the creator and maker of Penfolds Grange.
Vickery has made Riesling since 1951, and even before refrigerated fermentation was available, worked to ensure careful handling of fruit which was processed at as low a temperature as possible to lock in the maximum amount of fresh and zesty fruit flavour. Over the journey he’s made a slew of absolutely killer Rieslings and has picked up more than 50 Trophies and 400 Gold Medals.
He was also instrumental in the mainstream introduction of screwcaps for Rieslings produced from the '98 vintage. This was hard going at the time, with the perception being that cork was superior and screwcap a ‘cheap’ option. Regardless, the Clare Valley Riesling producers got behind him and less than 20 years later screwcap is the norm.
In 2007 he was awarded the Medal of Order of Australia for services to the wine industry, especially via the development of innovations in the production of Riesling.