Two sisters with eight children between them, develop an estate vineyard and become award-winning wine producers.
It sounds like the start of a modern fairy-tale but this is the true story of Eight at the Gate Wines.
And this story is like many others involving farming families; a cycle of hard work, heartbreak, resolve, and rewards.
Sisters Jane Richards and Claire Davies grew up in the country, very close to their vineyards, with their parents and three other siblings and have always had a strong connection to the land. Even when they didn’t own rural land directly, they would regularly help out on the family farm. It was hard work, and the family rallied with all hands on deck to get through the tough times.
Through hard work, persistence and a dedicated determination, the sisters seized the opportunity to put down roots for a family legacy. Claire, a Roseworthy viticulture graduate, had the vineyard skills whilst Jane had the business skills. In a joint venture they purchased Lanacoona Estate, an established vineyard with a highly-esteemed reputation among Australia's leading wine producers.
From Lanacoona Estate to Eight at the Gate
Jane and Claire's vision was to provide their own 8 children with a piece of the country life they grew up with, whilst growing the finest grapes the awesome soils of Wrattonbully could provide.
With the 2 sisters both looking after four children each whilst running a vineyard and producing wine, life is busy. There was an earthy story here, one of dedication and struggle and triumph. They knew they wanted to share their wines with family, friends and friends they had yet to meet but they wanted a name that really expressed the people behind the label.
Then, in 2013, fuelled by hearty red wine, a friend suggested Eight at the Gate, and that name struck a chord. There were always 8 children, or more, hanging off a farm gate or a fence somewhere on the property!
With a label they could be proud of, the Eight at the Gate team of family, staff members, and friends, had a new purpose to drive their efforts.
Meet the Team
Whilst Claire oversees management of the vineyard as Eight at the Gate's vigneron, there are many times throughout the year when the extended clan is needed to prepare soil, tend vines, defend against frosts, harvest fruit, and attend to a multitude of vineyard tasks.
We believe very strongly in supporting small businesses and giving back to our community therefore we choose local as much as possible.