Eden Valley visitors

Suze Angas, and her parents Jan & John, of Hutton Vale Farm, Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia visited us recently at Ballymaloe Cookery School – John & Jan and Suze are 6th & 7th generation respectively of the Angas family to farm at Hutton Vale Farm since 1843. We are delighted to have had the opportunity to welcome Suze back to Ballymaloe during the12-week certificate cookery course to talk to the students at Ballymaloe Cookery School during wine class.

Established in 1843, Hutton Vale Farm is located in the picturesque countryside on the North-Eastern hills of Eden Valley, Barossa, South Australia. Homeland to rolling hills and ‘big red gums’, some over 400 years old, with girths too big to wrap your arms around. The farm has produced a wide range of produce since its inception, from fresh and dried fruit, to tobacco, sheep, cattle and grapes. Even ostriches were farmed here 160 years ago for their feathers & leather. Each generation has adapted to the changes of life around them, working hard over the last 170 years to promote and enhance the natural environment of their family farm. Being respectful of the authority of Mother Nature, and aiming for the farm’s produce to capture what the soils and the seasons will allow, has always been at the heart of their philosophy.

Hutton Vale Farm wines are from dry grown old vines. Their ‘old’ block of Shiraz was planted in the 1960s with cuttings taken from the nearby famous Mount Edelstone vineyard (run by their neighbour the Henschke family) which was planted by John Angas’s Grandfather, over 50 years ago.

The Angas family and the Henschke family continue the tradition of multi-generational farming in the Barossa, promoting the region with events such as the Barossa Vintage Festival (of which they are the founding families) and  ‘The Barossa Camino’, a collaborative experience hosted by the Angas and Henschke families taking in the picturesque Mount Edelstone Vineyard, the beautiful landscape and vineyards of Hutton Vale Farm and the iconic Hill of Grace vineyard via a gentle guided walk, wine tasting and lunch.

As sixth and seventh generations of the Angas family they are mindful of their stewardship of Hutton Vale Farm.  Today they run a mixed farming business on the original farm holdings with produce grown in an ethical manner with its origins in healthy soil.

Their approach to caring for their vineyards is simple, respecting mother nature to yield only what the landscape and seasons allow. While they were here with us at the cookery school, we proudly showed them our Irish vines, outside in the gardens and also the indoor vines in the glasshouse. Although the concept of having vines in a glasshouse is a novel approach for our Australian visitors! However they fully appreciated the challenges that the Irish climate presents to ripening grapes sufficiently. Their advice on viticulture was much appreciated and duly noted by us. Watch this space…

Part of the farm at Hiutton Vale Farm is used as a grass airfield with two runways at an elevation of approximately 1200ft. Hutton Vale Farm offers an amazing landscape for you to ‘Fly In Fly Out’. Further information on their website http://www.huttonvale.com/product-category/wine/

The town of Angaston in the Barossa is named after a family ancestor John Fife Angas, who moved to the Barossa in 19th Century. The Barossa was mainly colonised by people from Silesia (part of Prussia back then) who in order to flee religious persecution, approached John Fife Angas and the community then moved together as a community to resettle in The Barossa in South Australia, with the support of John Fife Angas. Their heritage is still very much part of the Barossa to this day.

‘The Barossa’ is made up of The Barossa Valley & the higher altitude Eden Valley where Suze’s family farm and vineyard, Hutton Vale Farm is located. Thanks to Suze for a fantastic insight into the wine, food and culture of the Barossa.