AKA The Black Sheep: a trailblazing icon of Australian Wine in McLaren Vale

Hugh Hamilton Wines

Hugh Hamilton (aka: The Black Sheep) is part of a family of winemakers that has lasted 180 years. Nonetheless, his own personal vision of how wine can be made has produced remarkable outcomes despite the break from tradition. Black Sheep are in evidence throughout the cellar door and vineyard areas as visual reminders that you are going to experience something quite different.

The tasting room is elevated above the vineyard and the 270-degree view envelopes you into an absorbing wine tasting experience. Most tastings are enjoyed while seated at high-tables that further optimise the views during the tasting.

The Hamilton family history with its roots in the origins of grape growing in Australia are also sprinkled with some intrigue and quirky anecdotes, as any fine history should be. In 2017 it was 180 years since Hugh Hamilton’s great grandfather arrived in South Australia, planted the first vines in the new colony, and produced the first wines. The Bloodline Tasting explores both the entertaining history and the flagship wines that have resulted from the heritage of one Australia’s original wine families that has since ventured into new ways of thinking about McLaren Vale grapes and wines.

The wines demand a considered and leisurely tasting so that you take in the varieties and blends you experience. This is a different type of McLaren Vale icon that must not be missed.


Nic Bourke joined Hugh Hamilton as the winemaker in September 2016. Selected because of his passion and affinity for working outside the square, he wants to take the wines to an even higher level.

Interesting Facts

Hugh Hamilton is one of only 20 winemakers to introduce the Saperavi grape variety into his range. Saperavi is one of the most important grapes in Georgia (Russia) and forms the mainstay of their wine production.

Since its introduction, these wines have earned a reputation for their quality both as a straight varietal or in blends.

Your Tasting Options

Luxury Winery Tours is able to access a range of premium tastings as part of our tours. We also have some special options either unique to our customers, or provided by the wineries. See the details below for wineries on this tour with special options.

The Flock Tasting

Our classic tasting flight will introduce you to our cast of characters.Rascals, Ratbags, Drama Queens and the other reprobates are bottled up in some of Australia’s finest wines. Simply choose any five (5) wines from our Flock range to enjoy this experience.

Tasting of the Senses

This is a sensory experience, an innovative way of tasting wine, created and curated by Mary Hamilton. Prepare to get your eyes, ears, fingers, nose and tastes buds into top gear to experience the wines as you are taken on a sensory journey. The perfect tasting for lovers of red, white and rosé. Experience a taste of Hugh’s go-to wines, as well as some of his eclectic experiments and super premium red wines.

Premium Tasting

Taste 6 Premium wines (1 white and 5 red) including some wines from the exclusive Club Wines not normally available outside or the Hugh Hamilton Wine Club. This journey will expand your appreciation of McLaren Vale wines and varietals.

The Bloodline Tasting Experience

This historic journey through the top three Bloodline wines, valued at $375 is something truly special. Over 180 years ago, Hugh Hamilton’s forebear Richard landed in South Australia to start a new life as a winemaker. Formerly a tailor in England, Richard began to thread together his bloodline, planting the first grapes in the new colony to assure his future. Today, the Hamiltons are Australia’s oldest wine family with six generations of history behind them. ‘The Bloodline Tasting’ follows the red thread of this lineage as it weaves a curious journey back into the past. (Added fee of $20pp applies)

Hugh Hamilton Featured Wines

  • 2016 Black Blood I Shiraz (95)
  • 2016 Black Blood II Shiraz (95)
  • 2016 Black Blood III Shiraz (95)
  • 2015 Black Blood III Shiraz (96)
  • 2014 Pure Black Shiraz (95)
  • Black Sheep Club exclusive wines