"About half a mile north of Mrs. Graham's is the farm of Mr. Balderston. The house and farmsteading are backed by the garden and vineyard on a beautiful southern declivity, and well sheltered from the north by the wooded ridge behind. There are about five acres planted with the red varieties cultivated in the district, and the wine possesses the usual characteristics. Like that of the other vineyards, it has generally been sold for consumption in its first or second year."
It was this paragraph, found in the 30 July 1875 edition of the South Australian Register, that proves to us that vines have grown here at Coriole prior to 1919, which is when it was first thought that the Lloyd shiraz vineyard was planted.
Lloyd family member Helen Bennetts, author of "Willunga Almonds: Stories & Recipes", first found reference to older vines whilst doing research for her book.
Helen explains: "The newspapers used to produce harvest reports, where someone would give an update of various crops from different areas around South Australia. I was looking for very early references to almonds in the area but also was fascinated by how important agriculture was at the time. I went down a rabbit hole and came across this article where the writer had walked or ridden around the McLaren Vale district and talked to people about the harvest - grapes this time."
Helen recognised the Oliver name and the name Baulderston - and the Coriole property is the same land as "the farm of Mr Balderston" referred to in the article.
Thanks to this record, we now believe the shiraz vineyards used to produce our Lloyd Reserve Shiraz were these same vines that were here in 1875 - previously thought to be planted in 1919.