About Us


Background

Sixth Generation a tradition of Quality

IN THE BEGINNING:

William Salter originally from Tiverton in Devon England arrived in Adelaide on the Caroline in 1939. From here he moved up to the German Pass which would later become Angaston in the Barossa Valley.

He and his son Edward would go on to establish Saltrams wines from 1859 and produce their first commercial wine in 1862. 

http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/salter-william-4533

From Edward to his sons Charles and Leslie to later on with Arthur and his sons one of which Wilfred would later move to Qld with Arthur. Here Heather was born.

JOHN AND HEATHER

In 1967 John Robinson and Heather Salter met and married soon after.

They began looking for a suitable site to grow wine grapes and make wine.

Here they found the Lyra region of the Granite Belt which reminded John of the great vineyard sites he had visited when working in Europe through Burgundy and the Rhone valley.

John and Heather Robinson were one of the first to introduce into Queensland the premium grape varieties of chardonnay, pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon, to complement existing shiraz plantings.  Their first wine was made in 1974 a cabernet shiraz with the first commercial wine  made in 1975, a Cabernet/Shiraz/Pinot Noir blend, that same year it won a Gold Medal at the Brisbane R.N.A. Show.

 

Over the last 46 years their wines have consistently won awards and recommendations on a local and national scale.

John and Heather wine the Samuel Bassett Award for contribution to the wine Industry


  

John Robinson:

Lived and worked in Europe, here his passion for wine began. 

He first got the bug for wine back in 1963-1966 in this period he worked and travelled in Germany and France. Some time spent teaching english in Stuttgart Germany and Lyon in France. During this time he would venture out to the local vineyards and try the wines from the Mosel and Rhine to Burgundy , Beaujolais and the Rhone Valley. In 1971 he did a vintage with the Hunter Valley pioneer Max Lake at Lakes Folly where many of the old stalwarts (Len Evans,John Beetson and James Halliday amongst others) of the industry would drop by for a tipple.In 1974 he made his first wine.


Heather Robinson

 comes from a family of winemaking tradition. Formerly Heather Salter, her family established Saltrams Winery (W.Salter&Son) in the Barossa Valley of South Australia.

Together John and Heather established Robinsons.

 In 1975 John and Heather did an extensive wine study tour of Western Europe covering France (Champagne, Loire, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Alsace, Macon/Beaujolais, Rhone Valley), Germany (Rhine, Mosel), Italy (Piemonte, Chianti) and Austria.

THE SIXTH GENERATION

Craig Robinson

The third son of the five children of John and Heather Robinson and is the winemaker for Robinsons Family Vineyards. With a long tradition of winemaking from his father and grandfather way back to his great great great grandfather William Salter.

From an early age the children were always helping with the winemaking at Robinsons. From vineyard work to bottling they were involved (or in the way). It was from these beginnings that Craig eventually came round to liking the type of challenges that winemaking provided.

After studying Winemaking, Craig has worked in Margaret River Western Australia, the Yarra Valley Victoria, Reynella , Mclaren Vale and Padthaway/Coonawarra in South Australia and Internationally in California ,Chile, Romania and Italy .Travelling through Oregon USA and all through Italy he has a passion for all things that surround the grape. For more info see www.vintagenomad.com.

He is relishing the opportunity to evolve the style of Robinson Family Vineyards wines into something individual and of unique quality where structure,flavour and individuality are sought. Utilizing the techniques and experience he has used all over the world under many great winemakers.

Q&A Craig Robinson

Why the Granite Belt?

"Having worked all over the world it is clear to me that the Granite Belt Region is as good as or a more superior region for growing and producing wine than many highly regarded regions around the world."

What makes it a great region?

"It has a moderate climate ample sunshine and natural rainfall patterns remarkably similar to Bordeaux in France. So the style of wines will have a more european elegance and texture compared to more southerly regions. It is also dramatically beautiful."

What grapes do well?

"Chardonnay and Semillion in the whites, but unfortunately they are not the fashion.So some are planting Fiano,Vermentino and Albarino.

With red grapes pretty much any variety from south west france (Tannat, Merlot,Malbec,Petit Verdot, Cabernet etc) , Shiraz and Mataro."

What will you be focusing on?

"Chardonnay and a cabernet/shiraz dominant red blend as these varities have consistently shown to be very well suited to the region"

The future for the region?

" The region has been growing grapes and making wine for the last 40 years when back in 1975 two wineries (Robinsons and Angelos) won GOLD medals in the Brisbane Royal National Agricultural Wine Show. It will continue to gain wide respect and admiration as a high quality wine region and as the region builds will garner a more consistent approach to marketing and communicating its special place in Australia and the world.