Ever since my friend Neville Rowe became general manager of Sevenhill Cellars in the Clare Valley I have followed this interesting enterprise though the internet.
The Clare Valley is one of Australia’s oldest and most famous wine regions, about 120 km north of Adelaide, South Australia. Sevenhill Cellars is located south of the small country town of Clare which gave the valley its name (along the B 82).
The vineyards and the cellar are owned by the Jesuits (Society of Jesus) (www.sevenhillcellars.com.au) who migrated to Australia (from Austria) in 1848 so seek a more peaceful life. In 1851 they established Sevenhill Cellars. It is the oldest winery in the Clare Valley and the largest producer of sacramental wine in Australia. Watch out for the ‘St. Aloysius Riesling 2005’ , their flagship wine (ranked 34th in the “Top 100 Rieslings” of the 2005 Sydney Royal Wine Show) but also try some of their fortified wines – Liqueur Tokay, Verdelho and Frontignac or the ‘Jesuit Fine Old Tawny’. Hope this is enticing enough for Riesling lovers to check it out.
Originally the place was called “Open ranges” but the Jesuit settlers called it “Sevenhill” reminiscent of the seven hills of Rome. The intention was to make the place a centre of Catholicism in this part of Australia and to produce sacramental wines. Today, they also produce table wines for the laicist consumers.
Every year a Shakespeare play is put on at Sevenhill, called “Shakespeare in the Vines”. If you are around today, you are lucky because the romantic comedy “Twelfth Night” is shown on Friday 22 and Saturday 23, February. The ticket costs 35 A$ only. I am sure you will have a stunning night and the opportunity to choose from a variety of excellent wines.
The play is divided into five acts. It is actually quite complicated for me to give you a short account. I would like to refer you to http://absoluteshakespeare.com where you can read details about the story line and the characters.
I only want to mention that one of the most beautiful songs Shakespeare ever wrote can be found in this play. It goes as follows:
Come away, come away, death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid;
Fly away, fly away, breath;
I am slain by a fair cruel maid.
My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,
O prepare it;
My part of death no one so true
Did share it.
Not a flower, not a flower sweet,
On my black coffin let there be strown;
Not a friend, not a friend greet
My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown:
A thousand thousand sighs to save,
Lay me, O, where
Sad true lover never find my grave,
To weep there!”
Thumbs up for Sevenhill Cellars
Neville Rowe, general manager, Sevenhill Cellars
Box 13 Sevenhill SA 5453
Ph.: (08) 8843 4222