- Named after the proprietor of the 19th century mail coach service that once ran through their property, Henry’s Drive Vignerons is the wine operation established by Kim Longbottom and her late husband Mark. During the nineteenth century establishment of the farming and wine industries of south eastern South Australia, only horse drawn coaches provided the transit of mail and passengers. The coach drivers reigned supreme on top of their coaches and won the respect and admiration of their passengers. The coach service proprietor in this part of the state was a certain Henry John Hill. His operation drove directly through a property, owned more recently by the Longbottom family. Today, Kim continues to build the business in honor of Mark; with fine winemaking and brands such as Henry’s Drive, Parson’s Flat, The Trial of John Montford, Dead Letter Office, The Postmistress, The Scarlet Letter, Pillar Box and Morse Code. These wines are testament to Kim and Mark’s dedication to crafting fine wines from Padthaway, one of one of Australia’s great wine growing regions.
- Kim Longbottom, who hails from New Zealand’s famous wine producing region of Marlborough, has winemaking in her blood. Her late husband, Mark was a third generation pastoralist and had a natural affinity with the land. Together, they shared a passion for viticulture and winemaking—a passion that is central to the business. In 1992, Kim and Mark carefully selected sections of their properties for vine planting. Six years later, a dream was realized with the release of their first wines, coinciding with another life-affirming moment—the birth of their daughter, Margo. Sadly, Mark passed away in 2008. A loyal and honest man with a wry sense of humor, Kim and Margo’s loss was felt far outside his beloved Padthaway.
- Padthaway is located in the south east of South Australia in the heart of the Limestone Coast Region, a picturesque valley with a diverse range of agriculture, horticulture and viticulture. Padthaway experiences a Mediterranean climate of warm dry summers with cool nights which assist in flavor ripening; our winters are reasonably cold and, in a good year, fairly wet. Vineyards were first established in the region in 1963 by some of the founding Australian wine companies, which still source fruit from the region today. Visitors are always welcomed at Henry’s Drive cellar door; perfectly positioned on a hilltop to enjoy the views overlooking our olive grove and vineyards.
- In 1992, the first Henry’s Drive vines were planted. From the Longbottom farming properties; individual sites were selected most suited to viticulture, and have proven to consistently produce fruit with great depth of color, flavor and aroma. Since 1992, we have steadily grown the acreage in Padthaway to 300 and have an additional 30 acres in McLaren Vale; growing Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with small plantings of Verdelho, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The vines are planted in several sites throughout the Padthaway valley; the differing aspects and soil types provide a variety of flavor pro-files which allows us to build more complexity into our wines.