Samuel’s Story – Get to know the Yalumba founder (plus a sneaky special)

Image of a vineyard

We love a good story.

While it can’t make your wine taste better, knowing the origins, history and tales behind each drop lends another aspect to the wine tasting experience.

Samuel’s story is one to savour – it starts in 1849 and carries on until today.

Sam finds SA

If you’ve ever visited Yalumba in the Barossa, you know it’s got lush grounds and historic buildings galore. There’s clearly a story weaving through the rows of vines.

At 35, Samuel Smith decided to leave his hometown of Wareham in Dorset and head for a new life in Australia. He, his wife Mary and their four children arrived just in time to celebrate Christmas.

After a short time in Adelaide, they head north to a small settlement called Angaston. Samuel worked as a farmer for the town’s original and best-known family (the Angas family of course) and in 1849 planted his own vineyard with his son, Sidney.

A rush of funds

A gardener and a few vines is a good start, but not exactly the stuff of legend. To really get going, Samuel needed something more.

And in 1852, his chance came.

The Gold Rush!

Sam headed off to find his fortunes, and returned four months later with £300 of gold.

Now the fun could really begin.

Award winning wines

Samuel put his good fortune to good use.

He purchased 80 acres of land, as well as two horses and a harness to work his lot. After a year, he released the first Yalumba wine.

By 1858 – just 6 years after seeking fortune on the gold fields – Samuel begins to dominate the local wine shows.

But it wasn’t until 1893 – a few generations of Smiths later – that Yalumba’s international reputation would begin to take off.

Fred Caley Smith was a bit of an adventurer. He set off to the USA, Canada, Europe, the Middle East, India and Sri Lanka. Part of the winery business, he was a natural horticulturist, and met with many others along the way. They shared tales, cuttings, tips and tricks – and all the while Fred promoted Yalumba – and the vines his family had planted 44 years earlier.

Taste the story

This year, Yalumba are celebrating 170 of family winemaking. Samuel’s Collection – their new Barossa collection – a “celebration of heritage, longevity and estate”.

It features a solid line up of wines.

If you’ve been into one of our stores, you’ll see that Samuel’s Collection is the cover star of our 2019 Spring Catalogue.

Right now you can pick up any 2 bottles from the collection for just $44 (or $24 each).

We recommend you dive in while stocks last. This is a great collection from a winery with a strong – 170 year! – track record for producing great wines.


All of our stores are open through this challenging time. We are still here to help you find your next drink for take-away dinner at home, a gift for a neighbour who has helped you out or something to sip on as the BBQ sizzles. Red Bottle are a collection of independent bottle-shops in the Sydney CBD and inner city, selling your favourite beers, wines and spirits from around the world.