It's not a turtle, it's a tortoise...
Esto is produced by the Dean family with fruit grown at our Deanery Vineyards. We thought Esto could be the new name for the vineyards as well, but the old Deans thought that was dumb. As they said, why teach an old dog new tricks when the old tricks are just fine? Plus, they have the cheque book. That’s not figurative: they actually use a cheque book.
Whatever we (collectively) call ourselves, we do grow top-notch grapes. Each of our Adelaide Hills vineyards was purchased on the back of viticulturist Alan Dean’s know-how, which, happily, was not misplaced (unlike his love of dance).
There’s no need to take our word for it. The quality of our fruit is decidedly better spoken for by the talented folk who buy it – see below!
Our family bought Camac’s dairy farm on Greenhill Road in September 1994 and kicked out all the cows (artistic licence). Henry and Pat, wine lovers from way back, followed the advice of their three sons and became grape growers.
They planted Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Sémillon and Pinot Gris at a time when the Adelaide Hills were hardly synonymous with wine. Truly, they were uncool before uncool was cool.
The sons also planted Shiraz in the old bull paddock for kicks and giggles. The resulting wine, produced by Phil Christiansen of Longwood Wines, turned out to be really good, so it’s no longer funny.
Fortunately, there is still some left to purchase – buy here.
Later on in the 90s, one of Alan’s neighbours decided to buck the trend and head not for the hills but far away, retiring instead by a river. Somewhere.
Before we waved them goodbye, we took the keys from their hands and set about converting the land. Though it sits beneath Mt Lofty, beside Cleland National Park and bordering the Botanic Gardens, this was clearly no ‘B’ grade plot.
Instead, it is a playground, and we planted Sangiovese and Pinot Noir to play amongst the higher altitude, cooler climate and natural peaks and slopes the geography provides. Like kids at a real one, this is a hard place to leave.
The family’s Balhannah wine grapes were in demand. When an adjoining block on the “farside” came up we grabbed it and planted sauvignon blanc and a patch of pinot gris (or pinot grigio).
The vineyard named itself. It’s on the farside of the ridge which forms a natural boundary with the original dairy farm block.
We enjoy the accidental association [positive connotation] with the hilarious cartoons of Gary Larson. There’s nothing hilarious about the wine grapes from the Farside however; it’s classic Hills terroir.