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Our Story

Hugo Wines: Our Story

Hugo Wines is family owned and operated winery in the foothills above McLaren Vale. The Hugo Family use 100% estate grown fruit from the now fifth generation property to ensure exceptional wines are produced each year.



 The story of Hugo Wines is intrinsically linked to the property on which the vineyard is established.

Cropping Sauerbier Lands by Horse in McLaren Flat
Cropping on the Original Property

With the original estate being purchased by winemaker John Hugo's maternal great grandfather, George Sauerbier, who was born in 1860 and died in 1936. At that time whatever was planted or farmed had to not only survive but thrive and produce, in the soil and climatic conditions of the area.

George Sauerbier, B 1860- D 1936, Fishing off Port Noarlunga Jetty
George Sauerbier, B 1860- D 1936, Fishing off Port Noarlunga Jetty















There was no additional water and the science involved in agriculture as we know it today was in its infancy. Machinery was limited and majority of tasks were performed by hand, quite often with the aid of magnificent heavy horses which have now been replaced by tractors and harvesters.

 

Family Picnic Day at Original Cellar Door (1983)
Family Picnic Day at Original Cellar Door (1983)
The family first farmed the land in the early 1900's , previously a Southdown sheep stud, cattle, dairy, almonds, grapes to produce wine for personal consumption, tomatoes in glass houses and cropping land.


John's parents Colin and Gwendoline Hugo (nee Sauerbier) made a home on the property where the original dry grown Grenache bush vines that are still used today, were planted by them in 1951.

John and Gwendoline Hugo on Tractor Colin & John Hugo & Locals
With the day to day tasks required to run a vineyard at that time, the family employed the help of hand picking gangs, of which members would return year after year and capable pruners that knew the vines like the back of their hand. These tasks were not restricted only to men as some of the local women would come handpicking for the vintage to help with the household budget.
Grape Trolleys, Loaded & Unloaded with a Hand Held Pitch ForkPicked, Loaded & Unloaded all by Hand
Now under the leadership of John, Liz and Will Hugo, Hugo Wines vineyards extend across 24 hectares, with grape varieties including Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
John Hugo Winemaking
John Hugo Winemaking
When John took over the reins from his father Colin, he decided to produce the wine under the guidance of well-known winemaker Wayne Thomas.
John Hugo in the Original Cellar Door
John Hugo in the Original Cellar Door

John opened the cellar door in 1982, with the first wines being Shiraz and Tawny produced from the estate grown fruit.

The cosy award winning cellar door facility that now houses Hugo Wines was opened in 1998 and offers customers panoramic views of the surrounding vineyards whilst tasting wines and extra virgin olive oil from the estate, with the gallery offering works by talented local artists.


Matt, John, Liz & Will Hugo


Trophies & Awards

2007 Royal Melbourne Wine Show
Gold Medal - Class 46,
2005 Vintage Red, Dry Red, Shiraz
Trophy for Classes 46 and 51,
Open Section for 2005 Shiraz

2001 McLaren Vale Wine Show 
Trophy & Gold Medal - Class 10, Best Dry Red,
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
For 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon

2001 Boutique Wines of Australia
Trophy & Gold Medal 
Best Boutique Cabernet Sauvignon
for 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon

2011 Sydney Wine Show Presentation
2011 Sydney International Wine Competition
Top 100 Blue/Gold Judged with Food
Trophy for “Best Value Dry Red Table Wine of Competition” 
for 2008 Hugo Estate Shiraz

2013 Sydney International Wine Competition
Blue/Gold Award Judged with Food
Medium Bodied Dry Red Category
for 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon


Halliday Wine Companion Australian Cabernet Challenge 2016
2014 - Hugo Cabernet Sauvignon
Best Cabernet of McLaren Vale Region & Gold Medal (96 Points) 

2016 Royal Adelaide Wine Show
2014 - Hugo Shiraz
Gold Medal -  (Class 30 Shiraz - 2014 Vintage)

2014 - Hugo Cabernet Sauvignon
Gold Medal - 2016 Royal Adelaide Wine Show
(Class 25 - Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014 Vintage)

John and Liz take pride and joy in the vineyard and winery at McLaren Flat, South Australia, where they live and work.

The Furry Cellar Door Members

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