Dudley Wines

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About

Our History

Dudley Wines, Kangaroo Island is enthusiastically run and owned by Jeff and Val Howard, their three children and their families.

The Howard family history on Kangaroo Island dates back to 1883, when William Howard and his wife, Janet moved to land near Cuttlefish Bay on the Dudley Peninsula.  Ruins of their original home still stand, just 7km from the site of the Dudley Cellar Door.  Jeff, a fourth generation 'Islander' was raised on this same farm.  His father Tom, and brother Mos, became a dairy cow farmer and supplied the Island with milk for many years.  He purchased a block, running to the south coast of the Peninsula in 1964.  This was Porky Flat, a rough-as-guts, few thousand acres that ran to the south coast, full of scrub, limestone and wildlife.

In the mid 60’s, when he was 18, Jeff was given a few cattle and sheep by Tom, and with limited equipment he was sent on the challenge of taming the wild unknown that was Porky Flat, and turning it in to viable farmland. Slowly a merino sheep and cattle farm took shape.  Jeff met Val, who came to the Island as a teacher from the Barossa Valley, South Australia's wine capital.  They built a house on the farm and had 3 children.

With the collapse of the wool industry in the early 1990’s, K.I. farmers had to move away from the wool monoculture and some very exciting and successful industries began; Honey Farms, Eucalyptus Farms, Lavender farms, Beef Cattle farms, fat lamb farms, marron farms, Egg farms, larger scale cropping and Vineyards were born. 

Jeff was one of the founding partners of the Dudley Wines company, established in 1997 by him and his 2 good mates.  They planted vines in 1994 as an experiment and, with plenty of help from the locals, made their first small quantity of red wine in 1997 in part of the old shearing at Porky Flat.  This was a Cabernet Shiraz blend they named 'Shearing Shed Red', and was purely for their own use.  By 1998 they had so many grapes that they made their first commercial vintage wine.  

The business grew and was taken over by the Howard family in 2010.  Beef cattle are still a major part of the Howard family business, as too is the Cellar Door at Cuttlefish Bay, which opened in 2011.

Fam Shot 2017Edit

Our Winemaker

Brodie Howard, Jeff’s son and fifth generation Islander, took over the role of winemaker in 2000, after completing his later years of schooling in the Barossa Valley.  Brodie gained winemaking experience during vintages in the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale, but is mostly self-taught, having received guidance from some of Australia’s top wine makers.

He controls every step of the process from grape to barrel to bottle, therefore he knows exactly what goes into every bottle.  Brodie has never been one to play it by the book, and his unique blends wines reflect this; he loves experimenting, but has also gained Australia -wide accolades for his traditional wines.

Jeff and Brodie work together in the vineyard, winery and on the farm.  The island lifestyle provides a good distraction from the busy day to day activities; they always manage to squeeze in a fishing trip when the weather is just right, for product research of course - fresh grilled King George Whiting matches perfectly with a glass of Dudley’s ‘Grassy Flat Sauvignon Blanc’!

 

All of our wine is competitively priced and available for purchase on our online store.

 Dudleywines140717 6285Jeff Brodie In Cellar

Our Vineyards

Dudley Wines’ vines are planted in a beautiful valley, within the Howard’s 4000 acre property, known by the locals as Porky Flat. Although it is a working beef cattle farm, the estate is still approximately 30% untouched native bushland.

Early settlers named ‘Porky Flat’ due to the abundance of Australian Echidnas (‘porcupines’) that flourished there; the Echidna’s attraction to the area’s loose soil composition for ease of foraging is shared by the grapevines, which thrive in the loam/limestone structure.

The 20 acre vineyard is surrounded on two sides by original malley scrub, home to the native kangaroos and wallabies, and the winery was built overlooking the vines. The plantation is 7km inland from the rugged south coast of the Dudley Peninsula (Cape Hart), where a colony of New Zealand Fur Seals lives and whales and dolphins can be spotted. The isolated nature, and the pristine surrounds of the vineyard contribute to the unique characters of Dudley’s range of wines. 

Porky Flat’s closest ‘neighbouring’ vineyard (‘The Helyars’) is 10km away and Dudley Wines uses some of these grapes in it’s wines, and also manages a 10 acre vineyard 15km away (‘The ‘Grassy Flat’ vineyard)

Adjacent the winery, a cellar has been dug out of the hillside and walled with limestone to provide a suitably stable environment to house 200 barrels of maturing wine and pallets of bottled stocks.

Kangaroo Island Wine Region

Kangaroo Island has it all… Spectacular scenery along hundreds of kilometres of coastline, uncrowded beaches, an abundance of wildlife in a pristine environment, and an array of superb gourmet food; all of this on the verges of the Kangaroo Island Wine Region.

Local producers have been fiercely protective of the clean, green character of the Kangaroo Island and for good reason. Today they produce a stunning variety of foods, from high quality dairy products, pure honey, some of the finest seafood and of course, world class wines.

Measuring approximately 155 kms east to west and 55 kms north to south, Kangaroo Island is Australia’s third largest island. It is positioned in the Southern Ocean, just off the Fleurieu Peninsula on South Australia’s mainland.

Kangaroo Island is one of South Australia’s newest wine regions with some 15 growers and more than 100 hectares of vines. It is unique that the region is spread over such a large area, with such varying soil compositions, weather patterns and rainfalls, and also that no vineyard joins another in the vast region.

Being surrounded by the sea, Kangaroo Island can truly profess to enjoy a prevailing ‘maritime climate’. Proximity to the coastline and other geographical features have been shown to introduce their own effects on the weather conditions and a key element of the Kangaroo Island weather system is the long and protracted ripening season during the relatively cool summer.  The only down side of these ideal weather conditions is the temptation to down tools and go for a spot of fishing!

Come to Kangaroo Island, see and taste all it has to offer and “Let yourself go!”