In 1850, Thomas Hardy stepped on Australian land for the first time after setting off from his birth country of England to seek great opportunities away from home. At the young age of 20 and with only £30 in his pocket, Thomas Hardy took his chances and started working in Australia. In 1853,after working hard in Adelaide for his first few years, Thomas finally was able to purchase his own property along the banks of the River Torrens, also known as Bankside, and planted his first vineyards. The Thomas Hardy Wine Company was born and four years later, the first Hardys vintage was bottled and the company became the first exporter of Australian wines.
After becoming relatively successful in his first entrepreneurial endeavour, Thomas was looking to expand his wine making company and so purchased a recently bankrupt Tintara Vineyards in McLaren Vale, southern Adelaide. Hardys Wines then became Thomas Hardy & Sons in 1887 when Thomas’ sons all grew up and were ready to take over the business from their father. Today, the company is now run by a sixth generation Hardy and the Hardys Wines empire is a world renowned brand famous for its expansive range of select wines.
Hardys Wines’ The Riddle Range
Arguably one of Hardys Wines’ most famous wines are from The Riddle range of wines. Named for the witty and riddle-loving founder of the company, The Riddle range encompasses both red and white wines that is unique in flavour and displays the temperate climate where the grapes were grown in South Australia. From the drier Brut Reserve to the sweet Moscato wine, The Riddle range is one of Hardys best selling wines, and it is obvious why. The Riddle Shiraz Cabernet is the more popular red wine from the range. With a deep ruby hue and pronounced red cherry and mulberry aroma on the nose, this delicious wine is full bodied and infused with intense dark fruits and cherry flavours with just a hint of spice, accompanied with a good length and balanced with fine tannins.
The unique blend of Shiraz and Cabernet is delicious when paired with dark meats and strong flavours, such as wood-fired oven pizza or beef schnitzel. The classic Chardonnay is also part of Hardys’ The Riddle range. With its pale straw colour while still being brilliant and clear, this medium- bodied wine has a character of juicy fruits, such as melon, nectarine and subtle hints of vanillin. Its lightly acid flavour is great to pair with subtle flavours such as seared tuna and roast chicken.
Hardys Stamp & Hardys VR
One of the first wines to be exported from Australia, the Hardys Stamp Shiraz Cabernet is also one of the company’s best-selling. On pouring, the wine looks tinted with a pleasant deep red colour and releases aromas of fresh blackberries and a surprising hint of vanilla. The medium bodied wine has a rounded, juicy finish with a bite of black pepper at the end, which makes it perfect to pair with earthy flavours such as a juicy steak or a flavourful mushroom dish.
On the sweeter side, the Hardys Nottage Hill Riesling is a tribute to the nephew of Thomas Hardy, Tom Nottage who worked for his uncle for more than 66 years. This Riesling is a delectable white wine that offers hints of floral scents and melon on the nose with a soft lemon citrus flavour that pairs deliciously with a variety of cheeses and seafood.
The Hardys Varietal Range of wines today lives on as the legacy of its founder, Thomas Hardy and is proof that dedication and passion is crucial for the perfect bottle of wine. A bottle of Hardys fine wines costs between RM 65 to RM 100 at market price and is truly a wine worth paying for.