You might be familiar with our Stevens Road label – hopefully, you’re lucky enough to have enjoyed some of our Stevens Road Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay! But what’s the story behind the label?
Stevens Road is a single vineyard wine, meaning all the grapes in the wine come from this one particular vineyard. Our Stevens Road wines often win awards and receive rave reviews from the wine critics… simply put it’s a Xanadu label we are incredibly proud of, and one we like to pull out on a special occasion.
But, the Stevens Road property wasn’t always part of Xanadu – it was actually a vineyard that came into the Xanadu fold in 2007. Originally owned by the Gherarti family (also the owners of Freycinet Estate which ultimately became Voyager), the vines were planted in 1989 by John Brocksopp, the viticulturalist at Leeuwin Estate, using cuttings from the Leeuwin Estate vineyard.
The property had a number of different owners and leaseholds before Xanadu leased the vineyard in 2007, before purchasing it in 2009. In one incarnation the vineyard was called Louis Allano, named after the French Explorer that claimed the West Coast of Australia for France, a year after Captain Cook claimed the East Coast for England. We, however, decided to name the property Stevens Road, rather imaginatively, after the road that it runs off.
When we first purchased the Stevens Road vineyard we invested in upgrading the irrigation, adding a new dam and replanting some of the lesser performing blocks. This included removing the Pinot Noir vines (so that our Chief Winemaker Glenn Goodall would actually visit the property!) and also some of the Shiraz. This new space freed up more room for 4Ha of Cabernet – which we propagated from cuttings taken from the original Houghton clone Cabernet already on Stevens Road.
Glenn kept a section of the 2009 Stevens Road vintage to the side and bottled it separately. The call was made not to blend the Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay from Stevens Road in with their respective Xanadu Reserves, and so the first vintage of “Stevens Road” came to be.
2009 Stevens Road Chardonnay and 2009 Stevens Road Cabernet Sauvignon – a perfect pigeon pair. Only a few barrels of each was bottled for, what was at the time, a very clandestine little project. However, we knew we couldn’t keep it secret forever. The rest of the team was destined to find out sometime. Fortunately, upon their unveiling, both wines received rave reviews from wines scribes, sommeliers and not to mention the general public.
In 2014 our 2011 Stevens Road Cabernet won “wine of the year” from Halliday – and the rest, as they say, is history!
Have you tried our Stevens Road Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon? You can find it in our web store.