In 1891, William Formby and his son Arthur planted 35 rows of grapes on their farm “Metala” in Langhorne Creek close to Adelaide: 21 rows of Shiraz and 14 rows of Cabernet Sauvignon. This was the start of the largest family-owned vineyard in the region. Today, the operation consists of a 300-hectare vineyard area, which is mainly planted with Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. Langhorne Creek is a distinct red wine area.
The vines that were planted by the great-great-grandfather of the current owner Guy Adams are very special. They are considered the oldest family owned, non-grafted vines of this kind in the world! Langhorne Creek was one of the areas in Australia that was not hit by the the grape vine pest Phylloxera. In other areas such as Coonawarra, the Cabernet Sauvignon vine had been planted in around 1900, but fell victim to the expansion of agricultural areas. In other places such as Barossa, large plantings of this grape variety was replaced in the 1980s and 1990s by Shiraz and Chardonnay. The best aspect about the oldest family owned Cabernet Sauvignon vines worldwide is that they tirelessly continue to produce excellent grapes. The 1891 and 1894 Shiraz vineyards, which are the oldest Shiraz vines in the region, also continue to flourish.
Langhorne Creek, for a long time, has been considered an area that is excellent for growing red grapes and for shipping grapes to wine-growing companies elsewhere. Wineries were rare in this thinly populated region, however that has changed slightly; today, there are approximately 20 wineries in Langhorne Creek. Guy Adams, the representative of the family’s fifth generation at “Metala” primarily focuses on cultivating quality wine. In 1998 the company began using the name Brothers in Arms. Currently, the Adams’ are selling estate wines under six different labels: Killibinbin, Formby & Adams, No. 6, Formby’s Run, Sixth Generation - and of course, Brothers in Arms.
The respective blends from the approximately 42 single vineyard locations of the estate are a co-production. Guy Adams and his wife Liz, wine maker Jim Urlwin and head of sales and marketing James Hall set out every year to make the wines from the individual land sections into the best possible Cuvées or wine blends. The four have different views but very rarely have a difference of opinion regarding the final selections.
Guy and Liz live with their children Myles and Emily at the family estate at “Metala” -- in the middle of the hustle and bustle, close to the vines and the workers. The sixth generation therefore experiences everything firsthand and Brothers in Arms celebrates this through their No.6 and 6th Generation labels. It is very possible that their parents’ passion is contagious and the children will want to continue their parents’ work someday …
Brothers in Arms
471 Lake Plains Road
South Australia, 5255
Tel.: +61-8 8537 3182