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The late 1970s were difficult times for the Barossa wine grape growing community as the region was hit with a severe grape surplus. Companies refused to buy grapes and honour contracts, and Peter Lehmann knew this would destroy the livelihoods of the 140 family growers.

In a courageous bid to support his community of growers, Peter took out a loan, assembled equipment and built a small winery to process their grapes. The winery was called Masterson of the Barossa, in a nod to the famous gambler, Skye Masterson from the musical, Guys and Dolls.

The wine from the first vintage in 1980 was called ‘The Futures’ in a nod to the commitment Peter made to paying the growers once he had sold the wine. This arrangement was sealed with a handshake and Peter’s word was his bond. True to his promise, when the money started coming in Peter made sure to pay his growers first.

Led by Peter, the Barossa community pulled together during the tough times, not just to make great wine but to preserve the future of the land and the Barossa region. Today these longstanding relationships with the same community of family growers gives the Peter Lehmann winemakers unrivalled access to the very best grapes across the length and breadth of the Barossa.

Timeline

1947

Peter Lehmann leaves school to commence an apprenticeship as a winemaker.

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1959

Peter Lehmann begins his role of Winemaker & Manager at Barossa winery, Saltram.

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1977

Saltram decide not to fund the 1978 vintage due to a fruit surplus which puts the growers livelihoods at risk.

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1978

A distressed Peter raises the finance needed to process the growers’ fruit. In doing so he secures their income.

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1979

The winery is built and Peter names it ‘Masterson Barossa Vignerons’ after the famous gambler, Sky Masterson from Guys and Dolls.

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1980

The famous tradition of hospitality begins at the Weighbridge, the beating heart of the winery, with the commencement of the first vintage.

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1982

After much convincing Peter Lehmann agrees to put his name to the winery and Peter Lehmann Wines is born.

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1987

Peter Lehmann makes the first ever Stonewell Shiraz; simply named 'Show Dry Red'.

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1988

Clancy’s first produced. American Wine Spectator has named Clancy's ‘Top 100 Wines of the Year’ 6 times.

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1990

Flagship wine Stonewell Shiraz is awarded Australia’s famous Jimmy Watson Trophy for the 1989 vintage.

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1990

Peter Lehmann's son Doug Lehmann becomes CEO.

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1991

Peter Lehmann Wine launches the first Mentor Cabernet, under the ‘Cellar Collection’ range.

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2000

Stonewell Shiraz is first featured in the Langton’s Classifications and receives the ‘Exceptional’ rating.

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2002

Peter Lehmann retires at the age of 72, leaving behind a Barossa wine making legacy that lives on today.

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2003

The Hess Group acquires majority shareholdings leaving part of the capital with the Lehmann family.

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2009

Peter’s contribution to the industry acknowledged with the IWC Lifetime Achievement Award.

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2010

Doug Lehmann retires and becomes Deputy Chairman of Peter Lehmann Wines.

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2013

Peter Lehmann passes away on June 28th. His legacy continues to live on through the winery.

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2014

Andrew Wigan, twice awarded Winemaker of the Year at London’s IWSC, retires after 35 years with the winery. Peter Lehmann Wines is acquired by Casella Family Brands, placing the winery under Australian family ownership.

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2014

Peter Lehmann Wines is acquired by Casella Family Brands, placing the winery under Australian family ownership.

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2016

Peter Lehmann Cellar Door is recognised by Trip Advisor and Gourmet Traveller Wines Best Cellar Door Awards.

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2017

Nigel Westblade appointed as Chief Winemaker.

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2017

Futures 2014 Shiraz awarded #2 in the world at Syrah Du Monde Competition for the best Shiraz wines.

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2019

Peter Lehmann Wines celebrates its 40th anniversary by launching MASTERSON Shiraz, paying homage to the original winery name. The wine was rated 98 points by prolific wine critic, Huon Hooke. Only 1,000 magnums released.

Awards

awward
2017 Portrait Cabernet Sauvignon

Silver Medal - International Wine & Spirits Challenge (2019)

awward
2018 Portrait Eden Valley Riesling

Gold Medal - Canberra International Riesling Challenge (2019)

awward
2002 The King VP

Gold Medal - Royal Adelaide Wine Show (2009)

awward
2014 Masters Mentor Cabernet Sauvignon

91 Points - James Halliday's Australian Wine Companion (2019)