About Welland Wines
Welland is the story of a group of friends, an old Barossa Valley Shiraz vineyard and its resurrection.
The Welland story began with the arrival of the Krieg family, from Germany in 1847. The Kriegs became one of the Barossa’s founding families. Hardworking and successful business people, the family owned the local brickworks, a tannery and also a significant amount of orchard and vineyard at the northern end of the Nuriootpa township.
Welland vineyard was planted in 1923 by the Krieg family
Situated on sand over red clay soils, this vineyard for many years supplied premium fruit to well-known Barossa wineries such as Penfolds and Peter Lehmann. The Barossa has more than 550 grape growers. Many of these growers are generational and while the Krieg family never owned or operated a winery themselves, their vineyard became known amongst local winemakers as growing some of the region’s finest Shiraz.
In 2017, the last few hectares of this old vineyard were listed for sale as a ‘development site’. The vines were within a whisker of meeting the bulldozers when a group of friends led by Ben and Madeleine Chapman purchased the block. Together they are now in the process of resurrecting this historic old vineyard.
Such old Shiraz vines are irreplaceable
The fact that it was planted by one of the early settlers of the Barossa makes this old vineyard well worth the time, money and effort needed to restore it, explains Ben Chapman.
“Similar to restoring old cars or houses, it is easier and more economical to start again by buying a new car or house — but they will never have the character or storied past of a restoration! With a vineyard, this isn’t just about appearance, it’s about the quality and character of the fruit it produces which ultimately comes through in the wine.’
New trellising, irrigation, cuttings
The Welland vines have been trained onto new trellising. Irrigation installed in 2019 now allows these old vines a precious drink in extended periods of heat or low rainfall. In 2020, some of the dead vines will be replaced with young vines taken from cuttings off the Welland vineyard — same genetic material only much younger!
Grapes grown from the Welland vineyard have traditionally been sold to other Barossa wineries for use in making their iconic Shiraz wines. Today this fruit is used in making the Welland range of wines, giving this old vineyard a new opportunity to shine!
Krieg family arrive in South Australia from Germany by ship and settle in Barossa establishing successful local businesses such as the brickworks and saddlery.
Welland vineyard is planted on the outskirts of the Nuriootpa township
Much of the vineyard and orchard to the north of Nuriootpa is removed and the land subdivided for housing
Welland vineyard listed for sale as a ‘prime residential development opportunity’ but saved from the bulldozers
Old vineyard trellis replaced, irrigation installed, cuttings taken for the replanting of dead vines