Springs Road Wines has been owned and operated since 2016 by the owners of Battle of Bosworth Wines Joch Bosworth and Louise Hemsley-Smith.
After taking the McLaren Vale based Battle of Bosworth winery crew on a mystery tour of Kangaroo Island at the end of the 2016 vintage, Joch was shopping for groceries in the regional town of Kingscote when he happened upon a sales advertisement for Springs Road vineyards. After recognising the vineyards potential, the property was bought and the rest is history.
Joch Bosworth is a 2nd generation McLaren Vale winegrower who studied viticulture at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, NSW and worked vintages in the USA and in Victoria.
Louise Hemsley-Smith is an English blow-in who arrived in South Australia on St Valentines Day 1997 and never left. Our Battle of Bosworth and Spring Seed Wines are grown and made on our Willunga Vineyards which were established by Joch’s parents in the early 1970’s.
Our Springs Road vineyard was established in 1994 on a small sheep property off Springs Road, Menzies, about 7km west of Kingscote on Kangaroo Island. The vineyards were planted by well -known locals Roger and Kate Williams. Roger owns and runs Roger’s Deli in Kingscote and is a past President of the Kangaroo Island Racing Club. I want to say Roger is a colourful racing identity, but of course that means something else entirely. The Springs Road property was originally owned by Kate’s father, a strict Christian who didn’t approve of alcohol, smoking or betting at the races!
The old house (which now stores nets we put on the vines to stop the crows eating the grapes) was built by local Garry Johnson’s grandparents. Garry came and help do some trenching for the pathway leading up to cellar door.
Kangaroo Island Wine Region
Australia’s third-largest island and one of its youngest wine regions, Kangaroo Island has built an international reputation as a pristine wilderness that is famed for the quality of its produce as well as its natural beauty and wildlife, Kangaroo Island wines are making an impact both domestically and abroad.
Kangaroo Island is one of the five regions that make up the Fleurieu Zone and was officially registered as a wine region by Geographic Indication in the year 2000. It is a cool-climate region with regular maritime breezes playing an important role in moderating the ample sunshine and allowing for a long, cool ripening season.
The vineyard is on a special site in a very special place. It has a unique combination of relatively low rainfall, low soil fertility and a moderate maritime climate which results in low yielding vines producing highly coloured and intensely flavoured wines. We have approximately 11 acres of Shiraz, just under 11 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon and just about 3 acres of Chardonnay planted at Springs Road. These Kangaroo Island vineyards are a perfect fit for us in their pristine location on an island which is certified GMO free.
Joch has continued with his organic ways which began in his vineyards in Willunga and Springs Road is undergoing conversion to certified organic viticulture.
Vineyards are on predominantly sandy loam soils over limestone and marl (clay) with some patches of Bay of Biscay soils (black cracking clays), interspersed with some ironstone.
Springs Road label
The label is adapted from French cartographer Louis Freycinet’s 1808 map of southern Australia, ‘Carte Generale de la Terre Napoléon.’ Freycinet accompanied Nicholas Baudin on his voyage of discovery through the Southern Ocean between 1801 and 1803 and charted the coastline all the way from Wilson’s Promontory in the East (Victoria) to the Nullabor National Park in the West, centring on the ‘Iles Decres’, or Kangaroo Island.
‘Terre Napoleon’ is the first detailed map of Australia. As was the tradition of the time, maps were extravagantly illustrated and ‘Terre Napoleon’ was no exception. The French naturalist, artist and explorer Charles Alexandre Lesueur drew vignettes of the voyage and included Australian flora and fauna, including kangaroos and seals. The map ‘Terre Napoléon’ has two such illustrations and one of these features on the Springs Road label.
The neo-classical figure of Mercury is holding a Cadaceus and a garland of native Australian flora. Mercury is the Roman god (Hermes in Greek mythology) of travellers, commerce and was the messenger of the gods. He was also the god of financial gain, luck, trickery and thieves. He was the guide to souls on their way to the Underworld too. (His was a very mixed portfolio.)
little island wine label
The label is inspired by the front cover of a short history of Kangaroo Island that was published in 1951 by the Kingscote branch of the CWA (Country Women’s Association). We make a little island red, a little island rosé and a little island fizz (sparkling shiraz).
Kangaroo Island is actually quite big. It’s Australia’s 3rd biggest island after Tasmania and Melville Island, and is up to 155km long and 55km wide. Look at it on a map next to the mainland however, and you can hardly see it.