The historic and heritage-protected Magill Estate Vineyard was established in 1844 by Dr Christopher Rawson and Mary Penfold—just eight years after the foundation of Adelaide. It was originally known as the Grange Vineyard, named after their new homestead ‘The Grange’, a cottage which still stands intact amongst the vines. In later years, this vineyard would inspire and supply fruit for Penfolds Grange—arguably Australia’s greatest wine. The vineyard was first planted with grenache from cuttings taken from the South of France.
At its peak in 1949 the vineyard, planted to several different grape varieties on rich chocolaty red-brown soils, covered 120 hectares of gentle north-west facing slopes. During the 1950s and ’60s it was replanted with riesling, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and mataro (mourvèdre), reflecting the waning demand for fortifieds and the increasing interest in table wines.