"While our find here in Seppeltsfield was luck, it wasn't an accident" - Keith Hentschke, founder of Hentley Farm
Hentley Farm's founders, Keith and Alison Hentschke, knew that careful vineyard selection was imperative to producing high quality wines.
Keith had come from an extensive work and study background within the wine and agricultural industry. While the Henstchke family originally settled in the Barossa Valley in 1842, and their descendants remained there for many generations, Keith grew up on a family property at Lameroo. He studied Agricultural Science and Wine Marketing at Roseworthy College, and at graduation was awarded the prestigious Gramp Hardy Smith Memorial Prize for the college's most outstanding student. He then worked for Elders, before following his heart into the wine industry and gaining senior production and operational roles at Orlando Wyndham, Fabal (a vineyard management company) and Nepenthe.
In the 1990s, Keith and Alison undertook extensive research with local Barossa Valley winemakers and soil scientists, aiming to find out where the best red wine grapes were believed to be produced. Their research pointed them towards the red brown soils in Western Barossa, and the quality of red wines already being made in the area confirmed the selection of Seppeltsfield as their preferred area. Keith used an old 1950s soil map of the region to strategically locate parcels of land, and after a number of years acquired Hentley Farm; an old 100 acre vineyard and mixed farming property on the banks of Greenock Creek in Seppeltsfield.
Keith took a thorough farming approach in planting the vines, with the view that getting things right in the vineyard was the essential first step before he could even consider making wine. In the early 2000s, the estate was extended with the purchase of the neighbouring Clos Otto block, and the first Hentley Farm wines were released in 2002.