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Our Story


It all begins in the vineyard.

In 1988 Tony and Susie Parkinson acquired land on the rolling foothills east of McLaren Vale. The 32 ha (80 acre) grazing property, a prized piedmont position with commanding views over the waters of Gulf St.Vincent, promised all the elements for a great vineyard.

Named Penny’s Hill Vineyard after the hill at the base of which it is sited, the property was planted to vines in 1991 to a unique narrow-row configuration to maximise vineyard productivity and grape and wine quality.

Further vineyard acquisition followed. In 1993, the newly-planted Malpas Road property was purchased, followed in 1996 by an adjacent highly prized hay-producing paddock that was planted to vines and named Goss Corner.

In 1998, the original Goss family homestead, ‘Ingleburne’ was added to the Malpas and Goss properties to reconnect what had originally been one entire holding.

Now many years on, Tony Parkinson maintains ownership and management of the business with a dedicated team which includes younger son, James who is learning the vineyard ropes and elder son David, a filmmaker who contributes much to the aesthetic of the enterprise. 

“Our wines reflect both generosity 
of the region and individuality of our estate plantings.”

~ Tony Parkinson, Group Principal

Winemaking Philosophy

At Penny’s Hill, we are committed to growing outstanding fruit across our vineyard sites to deliver the finest wines possible.

Our Penny’s Hill wines reflect the site upon which the vines are planted. Winemaker, Alexia Roberts, works closely with viticulturist Jeremy Binns to maximise fruit quality and vine health.

Our team spends a lot of time in the vineyards; walking, observing and tasting fruit to ensure optimum flavour, balance and ripeness at harvest time. 

Each fruit parcel is harvested separately, in small batches individually nurtured throughout the entire winemaking process. 

Close proximity of our vineyards to the winery ensures we are able to select and hand-pick particular parcels of fruit for our “small batch” approach to winemaking, allowing for more options at final blending.

At each step of the winemaking process our wines are gently guided to bring out ultimate balance of texture, complexity and interest.

We find that our Malpas Road and Goss Corner vineyards, grown on black Bay of Biscay clay, produce wines that are rich and luscious with a soft, round finish.

The Penny’s Hill vineyard, on sandy loam over clay, produces wines with a perfumed bouquet and a high level of fruit intensity and fine tannin structure.

All red wines matured in the finest French oak barrels are barrel-selected prior to blending.

Optimum quality vineyards located in the nearby Adelaide Hills allow Alexia Roberts to craft fresh, vibrant, balanced white wines of aromatic intensity and regional expression.

The Penny’s Hill vineyards belong to the Sustainable Australia Winegrowing and Entwine Australia sustainability programs which minimise environmental impacts and encourage best viticultural practices.

Our Winemaker

Alexia Roberts is group winemaker for Penny’s Hill, The Black Chook & Thomas Goss brands, and a champion for the McLaren Vale wine region; in particular its Shiraz and Grenache varietals.

A passionate and experienced winemaker, Alexia has been winemaking in McLaren Vale since 2004 and has undertaken vintages in both France and Italy. Responsible for the production of many acclaimed wines, Alexia is no stranger to medals, trophies, awards and accolades both domestic and international; The World’s Best Cabernet’ in 2016 for Penny’s Hill 2014 Edwards Road Cabernet the pinnacle of her accolades thus far! 

Supporting the vision of Tony Parkinson, Penny’s Hill proprietor, Alexia’s winemaking style is to craft elegant, fruit-driven, single vineyard estate-grown wines to best express the varying terroir of the three different sites: Penny’s Hill, Goss Corner and Malpas Road vineyards. 

Our Vineyards

At Penny's Hill, an unwavering commitment to growing outstanding fruit ensures the finest red wines possible from our three McLaren Vale estate vineyard sites.

To ensure the same high quality for white wines under the Penny's Hill label, fruit is sourced from neighbouring cool-climate Adelaide Hills.

McLaren Vale

Dating back to 1838, McLaren Vale was one of the first areas in South Australia planted to vines. The region enjoys a true Mediterranean climate experiencing winter dominant rainfall and warm, dry summers tempered by the proximity to the waters of Gulf St Vincent. A long summer-autumn ripening period ensures outstanding fruit ripeness, richness and balance, and over region's history, wines of impressive character and value.

Penny's Hill Vineyard

On the foothills east of McLaren Vale,
the original narrow-planted Penny’s Hill Vineyard produces lower yields of high quality Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache for wines of texture, complexity and interest.

Slightly cooler than the valley floor, the site experiences even ripening temperatures and by precise canopy management, produces fruit of a quality which ranks it among the district’s best. Total area: 17.8ha (44 acres). Vines planted: 1991-1996

Goss Corner Vineyard

Just over the old stone wall to the south 
of the cellars, the Goss Corner Vineyard, established in 1996, gave up more than
 a century of stooked golden hay for a conventional vineyard layout comprising Shiraz, Merlot and Viognier. Total area: 9.7ha (24 acres). Vines planted: 1996

Malpas Road Vineyard

Located to the immediate west of the cellars, Malpas Road Vineyard with its flat, cracking-black Bay of Biscay soils produces consistently high quality, even- yielding Shiraz, Cabernet sauvignon and Merlot. Total area: 15ha (37 acres). Vines planted: 1991-1993

Adelaide Hills

White grapes are sourced from single vineyard sites in the Adelaide Hills region, which is within close proximity to McLaren Vale. Higher altitude and cooler night time temperatures ensure wines with natural acidity, varietal expression and freshness. Penny’s Hill ‘The Agreement’ Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from the  Battunga Vineyard in Kuitpo. Penny’s Hill ‘The Minimalist’ Chardonnay is sourced from Piccadilly Valley – one of the highest areas in the Adelaide Hills at 520 metres altitude. We call these vineyards “Estates of Mates”. 

Origins

The Penny's Hill cellar door and The Kitchen Door restaurant are located on the historic 'Ingleburne' property between McLaren Vale and Willunga.

The property, first settled in 1846 by Thomas Overton and his family, was named 'Gedney'.  In 1848 a private school, the 'Dirnier School' was established on the property by Henry Marshall Cox to educate some 20 local students, including Overton's six children.

After profiting £1,500 at the Victoria goldfields in 1851, one-time postmaster Thomas Goss returned to McLaren Vale and applied his new found wealth to acquiring some of the district's best farming land.  At first he leased a section of Thomas Overton's land before purchasing it on August 9, 1854. 

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