It's difficult to overstate the importance of this winery. Its unbroken family line goes back to 1850 and Andrew's great-great-grandfather Thomas Hardy, oft described as the father of the SA wine industry. The interwoven links between the family and the eponymous Hardys Wines have seen an unbroken history of supply of grapes to and from the epicentre of wine production under the Thomas Hardy name for 167 years. How much by design or chance is immaterial, but some of the best vineyards in McLaren Vale and its surrounds have remained in the hands of members of the family outside the corporate structure. One such is the Upper Tintara Vineyard, established by Dr AC Kelly in 1861, purchased by Thomas Hardy in '71. In '91 he expanded the plantings with shiraz, now called Ancestor Vines, and the vineyard has been the prime source of Hardy's Eileen Hardy for 48 years. Small amounts of shiraz were made by Andrew and his late father Bob as a hobby. Since 2008 each vintage has been 70 dozen (other than '09 and '11 declassified); the '08 released in June '19, with subsequent vintages to be an ongoing annual release.
The Ox Hardy range of wines represent a rare and precious combination of people, vineyard, history and winemaking provenance. Andrew ‘Ox’ Hardy is one of Australia’s most respected winemakers and his family’s Upper Tintara Vineyard is one of Australia’s most important viticultural assets. The Vineyard’s last remaining 2.54ha block of 1891 Ancestor Vines, planted by Andrew’s great-great grandfather Thomas Hardy, are some of Australia’s oldest and most valuable. And Andrew’s library of wines made from the family’s vineyard over the past two decades, but cellared and hidden from the public until the first release in 2019, demonstrate the quality and age-worthiness of these special releases. Each element of the Ox Hardy range of wines are precious in their own right, but the circumstances that have finally brought them together makes them a treasure of the Australian wine industry.
Available for purchase via the Ox Hardy website, and select independent retailers and restaurants.