Margaret Lehmann, guest speaker at Barossa Conference

Margaret is one of Barossa’s food and wine pioneers, a champion of its preservation and was an integral part of the growth of Peter Lehmann Wines.

We have what I call the up and coming generation who are in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. I can say that because I am much older! They are really switched on. And the other thing is because so many people are 4th, 5th, 6th generation, coming up 7th generation – before the Barossa had been primarily a grape producing region – vignerons sold to wineries. And gradually the kids either are going to keep going as is or are going to seize control of their own vineyards. So there has been a proliferation of smaller producers – vigneron kids making wine under their own name.

Because I was born outside the Barossa, Peter was born in the Barossa and sometimes somebody coming in from the outside can analyze and see what is really precious… And one of the things is that the Barossa has always been mixed farming because they were good Silesian peasants who settled here – Lutheran but German speaking. And so you have your orchard, you had your farms, you had your cows and various cropping. And you never ever put all your eggs in one basket. And that is why a traditional Barossa Vineyard is never ever a mono varietal. Because of these swings and round abouts about which varietals become more popular – we have small plots – what we call a tapestry of vineyards, distinct from large acreage properties.

I think if you paint a picture of wines – you get a glass and it should be three dimensional – so if you say Tuscany you see the landscape, you see the food and you see the wine. But as a whole. And you see the people. It is the resonance of that imagery in all those important parts. Napa has achieved it remarkably well – and we are much smaller of course, smaller population – you have San Francisco – here everything is on a smaller scale. But the Barossa is getting there.

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