On a balmy summer evening after a long day working at the 500cc Moto Grand Prix in Magny Cour, France, John Edwards had dinner at a farmhouse restaurant on the banks of the Loire River. Drinking local wine he thought of his time as a young cellar hand in Australia and mused “One day I want to make wine like this”. He had just encountered his first experience of wine with a true sense of place.
The romance of growing grapes and making wine in a booming industry was tantalizing. In 1992 on a regular foray searching for the place to plant a vineyard, John and Helen Edwards discovered Ravenswood Lane. They were high in the Adelaide Hills just a short drive from the village of Hahndorf.
Unhurriedly taking in the view of Mount Lofty Ranges, they left the car to lean on an old farm gate. Hereford cattle eyed them with curiosity, a solitary farm shed spoke of times gone by. They looked at each other and nodded, this was the place they had searched for, the place where they would grow grapes, make wine and share the bounty of their vineyard with friends and visitors.
While John had glimpsed this destiny in France, Helen found poignancy in the moment remembering Helen and John’s peace-loving fathers “RG” and “JC” who as young men had gone to war to defend Australia wanting to give their children the opportunity to live and work in peace. Helen felt their presence that day, urging her and John to take the opportunity before their eyes.
Helen and John agreed from the beginning their story would be more of a message about their spot of land and an irrepressible family passion for good food and great wine.
“When friends and visitors open a bottle of our wine anywhere in the world we want them to be reminded life is pretty good and worth looking forward to.”
For ten years John was vigneron and ‘face’ of the Adelaide Hills brand ‘Starvedog Lane’ in a joint venture with the Hardy Wine Company. In 2005 when Hardy’s sold to an international beverage company John seized the opportunity to fulfill his dream, leaving Hardy’s to build his own winery, cellar door and restaurant in the heart of the vineyard on Ravenswood Lane.
Sons Marty Edwards a navy diver and Ben Tolstoshev, Helen’s graphic designer son joined Helen and John at The Lane Vineyard. Their meetings around the kitchen table were about their vineyard’s exceptional single site wines, the spectacular views from the vineyard and their Australian style of hospitality. They knew if they combined these elements The Lane Vineyard could be a place where wine lovers and adventurers alike could savor a glass of wine with seductively simple food and maybe discover a moment of knowing and appreciating they had found something special.
Today The Lane Vineyard is a mature and exciting wine business, one of Australia’s true wine domains. Helen and John are passing the reins over to Marty and Ben. The family’s dedication to making wine that gives people a sense of pleasure and luxury lives on. As John recounts
“Luxury comes from something made with effort. It gives a pleasure out of the ordinary, one that heightens your senses and has a touch of the unexpected. The beauty of The Lane Vineyard - in every glass”.