Metala: Pioneers of the Vines
The return of Metala winemaking to its ancestral home is cause for celebration amongst Australian red wine lovers.
Ensuring the legacy of an Australian wine icon is no mean feat, especially when that icon has over 130 years of history behind it, passed down through five generations. Yet this is the legacy that Guy Adams, fifth-generation vigneron of the famous Metala vineyard in South Australia’s Langhorne Creek, has taken on willingly and wholeheartedly.
Guy’s great-great-grandfather William Formby and son Arthur planted the first vines on the Metala Estate in Langhorne Creek in 1891, having been encouraged to do so by Arthur’s brother-in-law Ronald Martin, of Stonyfell fame. Over the next six decades the relationship between the two wineries expanded, leading to the eventual transfer of Metala’s wine production to the Stonyfell winery in Adelaide.
Shortly after, in 1962, the 1961 Metala Cabernet Shiraz won Australia’s most prestigious wine prize, the inaugural Jimmy Watson trophy. A star was born.
By the 1970s Metala was a household name, and through the 80s to early 2000s, a staple in many cellars – indeed, over this period it had become one of the biggest-selling names in Australian wine.
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The first vines were planted on the Metala Estate in Langhorne Creek in 1891.
Metala are regional forerunners
The Metala story reflects one of only a handful of South Australian wineries that can be traced back to the rich pioneering history of not just the region, but of the country itself. Full and flavoursome, a by-product of the 130-year-old vines that grow on the estate, a Metala red is still a much revered Aussie drop.
“Metala is a name synonymous with the delicious, concentrated reds that Australians drank in droves throughout the nineties and early noughties,” says wine show judge and Wine Selectors tasting panellist Will Figueira. “Especially their signature Shiraz Cabernet blend – for many, the classic barbeque wine. It was always ridiculously under-priced, but all the better for the Aussie red drinker.”
“They’re still very well-priced twenty years later, offering great bang for your buck across their portfolio,” Figueira continues. “Can they be cellared? Sure, but I love drinking them fresh: rich and juicy not long after release.”
Metala wine production is now back to its ancestral home in Langhorne Creek.
The Langhorne Creek legacy of Metala
Since 1981 when he took over the management of the Metala Estate, Guy Adams has worked tirelessly to bring the company’s wine production back to its ancestral home in Langhorne Creek. In 2022, that battle was won.
“It’s a particularly special homecoming,” says Guy. “The vineyard that bears the Metala name was established by my ancestors in 1891, and to see a return to its birthplace is very special for our family. We live on and manage the property to this day, and we can see the grapes that will go into the Metala wines from the windows of the original homestead.”
With his family legacy intact and back home in Langhorne Creek, Guy can now enjoy the fruits of his labour with a sense of pride and a renewed delight in what the future has in store.
“As the custodian of such an historic brand, I look forward to continuing to build its standing in the market, and to handing it down through the generations to come.”
Rediscover the heritage of a Langhorne Creek original at metala.com.au