Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard
Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard is the Australian jewel in the crown of California’s Jackson Family Wines. Purchased in 2012, the winemaking is a coordinated effort between Chris Carpenter (of Napa Cab fame) and distinguished Australian winemaker Charlie Seppelt.
The Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard covers a steep cut of country from the ridgetops above the village of Clarendon to the Onkaparinga River in the gorge below.Vines were first planted in this part of Australia back in 1858. Clarendon lies to the extreme north of McLaren Vale, on the edge of the Adelaide foothills, at an altitude much higher than the rest of the region (almost 300 metres), providing cooler nights to help refresh the vines.
The Hickinbotham Clarendon Vineyard was established in 1971 by Alan Hickinbotham. It is 80 hectares in size and was originally planted with dry-grown Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, although it is now also planted with Merlot. It quickly became highly regarded and has been the source for many of Australia’s finest wines such as Penfolds Grange.
The Brooks Road is a 100% Shiraz cuvée that also spends 18 months in barrel but in barrels coopered in Burgundy rather than Bordeaux. The top cuvée is called the Peake, after Sir Edward John Peake, the founder of Clarendon. It’s an even blend of Cabernet and Shiraz from forty year old vines and spends eighteen months in barrel.