About us

History

Established in 1970 by fourth generation farmer Gordon Knight and wife Heather Knight on their then grazing property in the pastoral district known as Baynton.

By the late 60’s, it was clear that the declining returns of traditional sheep farming would spell an end to the smaller properties. Always forward thinking and rarely deterred by a challenge, Gordon Knight has always been one in pursuit of a means to further improve the productivity of his plot. After much consultation with the staff of the then Victorian Department of Agriculture and others in the wine industry, Gordon decided to take the biggest gamble of his life by selling near half of his treasured farmland and invest in a vineyard.

In 1970 just a few rows of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Riesling were planted as a trial. Encouraged by their some-what shy growth, further plantings of these varieties in 1971 and 1972 expanding the area to just 6 Hectares. In 1973 plantings consisting of Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir were met with disaster as the worst locust plague in history stripped the young vines of any reasonable chance of life, and had to be abandoned.

Perhaps of some intrigue, and although never certified, Granite Hills was initially managed organically, a strategy which continued on until 1976 – 77 when a difficult vintage rationalised the need for a slightly more sustainable approach.

A few buckets of grapes in 1974 gave Granite Hills its first wine, albeit only a few dozen bottles of a Cabernet Shiraz blend. From the 1976 vintage came the first commercial releases with less than a hundred dozen of Riesling and a Cabernet Shiraz blend.

In 1978, sufficient quantities of Shiraz and Cabernet sauvignon gave rise to the first release of varietal Shiraz, which was truly the first ground breaking Peppery Shiraz.

In early 1979, the first section of the winery was establish in time for the 79 vintage. Gordon and Heather’s son Llew also returned home to help after 3 years studying Wine Science at Wagga and a year working in the industry.

In 1982 Chardonnay plus Cabernet Franc and Merlot were planted expanding the Granite Hills vineyard to 9 Hectares. More recently, plantings of Pinot Noir in 1999 plus Riesling and Shiraz in 2004 brought the total vineyard area at Granite Hills to 12 Hectares, which is at it remains today.