A FAMILY AFFAIRThe Schwarz family has a long history in the Barossa and we are now into our 5th generation in the region. Like many families within the region, we haven’t always been involved in the wine industry. My Father was born at a historic property on the Gomersal Plains just outside of Tanunda. Although there was a small vineyard on the property it was a working sheep station and that was the main source of income. He attended Seppeltsfield School and for some time lived in a small workers’ cottages in Seppeltsfield. At the age of 14 he started working in the vineyard for his uncle, Albert Nicolai, eventually purchasing the land and beginning to add more parcels of vineyards over the years.My Father won the state pruning championships held in the Clare Valley in the mid-1980s and my parents now live in Bethany opposite our Home Block Grenache vineyard and in close proximity to our vineyards on Thiele and Nitschke Block.I convinced my Father to part with a small parcel of Nitschke Block Shiraz in the 2001 vintage and followed with the Thiele Road Grenache from 2002 and the Schwarz Wine Co was off and running.Today, our “family” has grown and although the fruit from my parent’s vineyards provides the backbone of my wines, I have built relationships with some of the Barossa’s finest grape-growers, and their hard work, passion, and dedication to their craft makes my job much easier in the winery.THE WINE MAKERI came to winemaking via a circuitous path. While I grew up surrounded by vines at my parent’s property in Bethany, I initially studied wine marketing at the University of Adelaide.On completion of my studies I headed overseas visiting Bordeaux, Burgundy, and The Napa, working in Stellenbosch and Zell, Germany. It was during my travels that I realised that my calling was winemaking rather than marketing and on my return to the Barossa in 1998 I began working in local wineries.THE VINEYARDThe vineyards I source my fruit from are the lifeblood of my wines. From my parent’s vines in Bethany to the relationships I have built over the years with some of the best growers in the Barossa Valley, I am lucky to have access to some of the regions finest fruit with old vines stretching back to 130 years of age.