Ben Zander – Eden Valley
The Zander family have occupied their charming 'Wroxton Grange' property in Eden Valley since November 1920 - a strong lineage of farming and agriculture has led to fourth generation Ben Zander holding the reigns today. Along with the help of his father, Ian, Ben runs 250 hectares of mixed enterprise farming, 40ha of which are vineyards planted to high quality Riesling, Shiraz and Chardonnay.
The 'Quarry Block' was planted in the late 1970’s upon shallow sandy loam soil. The vines are planted at a north-west to south-east orientation across the top of a hill, and down the side with a north-east aspect. Due to the vine age and soil type this block has been consistently low yielding, producing fruit with intense flavour concentration and lively acidity.
The 'Kosi Block' is located 3km from their homestead, also in the Flaxmans Valley area of Eden Valley. Sitting at 500 metres above sea level these vines are planted to a combination of GM 110 and I10v14 selection Riesling. The cooler climate at this altitude is perfect for growing vibrant and long-living Rieslings; a trait Eden Valley is highly regarded for.
Michael and Judith Mason – Eden Valley
Michael and Judith moved to the Barossa Valley from the Adelaide Hills in the early 1980s so Michael could pursue his passion for timber and woodcarving.
He completed his Cabinetmaking Trade and went on to open up the Woodcarvers Haven in 1988; a family business that is still thriving today. Throughout these 30+ years Michael and Judith have taught three apprentices (one achieving ‘Apprentice of the Year’ status) and hundreds of students the skills of woodturning, cabinetmaking and woodcarving.
In 2001, after a move inland to the Barossa subdistrict of Eden Valley, Michael and Judith decided to plant Riesling and Shiraz grapes on their property. Their entry into the grape-growing industry didn’t come completely out of the blue – Michael’s family background is in organic orchard farming, an occupation he employed himself until the age of 21.
Located at 440m above sea level, with sandy loam soil, the Mason vineyard is perfect for premium Riesling fruit. The vines are planted in east-west orientation so the sun travels along the rows, avoiding potential sunburn that can come from the side should they be north-south facing. The high altitude of the site also acts as a natural deterrent for spring frosts, an attribute that is increasingly vital given the current climatic conditions. Drawing knowledge from his organic farming days Michael doesn’t use any fertiliser on the vineyard and relies on a herd of grazing cows to maintain the grass.