John, James and William Macarthur brought grapes to Camden Park in 1820 and planted the first vineyard at Belgenny, the original Macarthur homestead built at Camden. This was followed by a larger planting closer to the Nepean river. Gateposts for this vineyard have recently been unearthed in a restoration project. In 1840 a third vineyard was planted closer to the new Camden Park house where large brick vats used for wine fermentation are still evident.
Thousands of cuttings from the Macarthur vines were supplied to the emerging vineyards around Australia over the next three decades.
In 1870 the vine mite phylloxera wiped out these plantings. In the mid 1960’s an attempt to start with new vines was foiled by floods in one year followed by a drought the next year when these small plantings had been moved to higher ground.
The family then waited until 1997 when the story continued at Cowra.
Anne Jeffery, who is a seventh generation descendant of John Macarthur, and her husband Peter planted the Spring Ridge vineyard at Cowra. This vineyard is located on a wonderful hillside site with 12.5 Ha of Chardonnay, Semillon, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz grapes. Only premium fruit from good vintages is selected for the Spring Ridge label.
The wines have an impressive list of awards and reviews.
Peter and Anne Jeffery’s cellar door is situated in an attractive garden setting providing wine tasting to visitors on most weekends.
Spring Ridge wines are made by Central Ranges winemaker Drew Tuckwell, who created a winner in the 2004 Spring Ridge Rose at the ’05 Cowra Wine Show.
Spring Ridge was also awarded a Gold for the 2000 Shiraz in the respected industry journal “Winewise”.