On behalf of the entire community we extend our deepest condolences to Margaret, Doug, Dave, Phil and Libby on the loss today of Peter Lehmann. His influence is immeasurable; so many stories tonight will be shared in his honour.
PL’s lasting legacy will be the inspired belief that the Barossa is something special. It’s an inheritance that resonates across the entire community.
CEO Barossa Grape & Wine Association
Barossa Vintages - A Wine History from 1842
“But is was Lehmann, the grand old Baron of the region who had seen and done it all, who provided the most positive view of the future. “This is just another pendulum swing,” he said with gravelly voice. “In 1983 one of Australia’s most respected viticulturists said the Barossa would only be growing cabbages by 1990. Yet the Barossa is still the one regional name which is recognised worldwide. We still make the world’s most unique Shiraz, and the best Rieslings from the Eden Valley. We still have some of the oldest plantings of vines on the planet and an unbroken history of grape growing and winemaking to rival parts of Europe. I still see a great future for the Barossa, a future with enormous potential.”
A transcript from an interview conducted in February 1999
Barossa Vintage Classification 1947 - 1988
The 1970s and 1980s
Peter Lehmann, Peter Lehmann Wines
My apprenticeship was a fairly lengthy period: it was 10 years before I was let loose on anything.
I left Yalumba in 1959 and joined Saltram where I followed on from Bryan Dolan. By a stroke of luck Saltram was into dry red winemaking for export, and a couple of years after that we saw a great shift from fortified to table wine.
I didn’t know a hell of a lot about making red wine but the blokes in the cellar did, so we taught each other. They were fairly exciting times.
Even in the days of Yalumba and also at Saltram and of course here, we were very dependent on independent growers, they’re the heart of the wine and we have always put strong emphasis on the welfare of growers.
Saltram weren’t going to buy the grapes and we started Peter Lehmann as a salvage operation.
When the tribulations of growers and surplus grapes for export became obvious we had a big drama here. The major shareholder was a bit short of the necessary, so in the short term we bought the company from McLeod.
We floated the company on the stock exchange and have been a public company for six years it is really going very well.
The Barossa is having so much success and so it should, it is God’s own country and has established itself as one of the great wine regions of the world. Margaret is convinced this was the original Garden of Eden.”
"A wonderfully warm, wicked and talented man. A long time loyal family friend and mentor. One of the last whose word was his bond. A Barossa pillar taken too early. He leaves a void but endless memories and naughty stories for us to savour."
Robert Hill Smith
The Yalumba Wine Company
“PL was a great advocate for the Barossa and its growers, his honesty and integrity were legendary. He always had time for the growers and really wanted them to be part of and share in the success of Peter Lehmann Wines.”
William Hurn - Grower