When Samuel Smith planted his first vines in the Barossa Valley near Adelaide in 1849, he had no way of knowing the legacy he was setting in motion. He and his family had recently left their home in Dorset to carve out a new life for themselves in Australia, and his work as a gardener inspired him to sow seeds of his own.
But by putting those first vines into the ground, Smith did more than create a path for himself – he built the foundation of his family’s livelihood for generations to come. The vines grew, as did Smith’s passion for making quality wines. Yalumba Winery was born.
From that first planting on, Yalumba’s pursuit of excellence has persisted through constant innovation and exploration. Its celebration of Smith’s legacy has persisted too.
In 1966, Yalumba released the inaugural vintage of The Signature, a thoughtful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Those first bottles of The Signature were dedicated to Smith and the pioneering spirit he instilled in Yalumba.
Every year since, the winery dedicates the vintage to a different person working there. The label bears their name and signature, and they receive a barrel of the wine as gratitude for their contribution to the continuation of Smith’s legacy. The development of this blend is now an integral part of the culture of Yalumba. It honours the traditions upon which the winery was founded, and it demonstrates its commitment to the great Australian red.
Over the decades, The Signature has become an icon of Barossa Valley wine. Known for its deep aromas of spice and dark fruit giving way to full-bodied complexity, the liquid is as rich and bold as the history of Yalumba itself.
Of course, each vintage is unique as well. The different releases are the embodiment of changing growing conditions and winemaking decisions. For instance, the long, mild summer of 2015 resulted in a wine with pristine fruit flavours, while the cool menthol notes of the 2010 vintage are reminiscent of that growing season’s high winds.
The Signature is a wine that tells a story, and opening a bottle is a special occasion. It’s the culmination of years of hard work, of family memories, of innovation and of respect for the past. It may be 170 years since those first vines were planted, but Smith’s passion for winemaking lives on in Yalumba – and in each bottle of The Signature.