Richard McLeod shares the story of Landers Wines and Ayers House
Written by Miriam Laurovics
Who are Landers wines?
Ebottli had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Richard McLeod from Landers Wines. Landers carry a lot of character, spirit, and style, a lot like the in-famous Ayers House, which is home to The Landers Wines.
Richard works with his brother-in-law, Matthew Koch, who is an award-winning winemaker and pretty much eats, breathes and sleeps winemaking. Both men inspire one another and are driven and experienced and hope to put more of the Landers Wines in Ayers’ big wine cellar.
Landers Wines is South Australian, the fruit grown in the Fleurieu Peninsula, Adelaide Hills, and McLaren Vale. Personality, individuality, and realness are embodied in each wine bottle.
The first thing Richard said to us when we gathered around the wine collection was, “Let me introduce you to the family”. The wine is all about honouring family members and the little unknown part of Australian history.
The great story
‘Landers wines’ is named after a legendary Frenchman, L’Andre, who worked aboard one of Napoleon private ships during the Napoleonic Wars.
In 1798, L’Andre was captured by the British and locked up in a prison ship called the Royal Admiral and sent to Australia. He managed to convince the British Poms that he was a vintner (winemaker). This worked in his favour as they needed someone to make grog in Australia.
In 1800, L’Andre arrived in Sydney and the ultimate gameplan for wine began. The plan was to plant 12,000 vines in 3 years in Parramatta, located approximately 24 kilometres west of Sydney CBD. Not long after, L’Andre made history by producing the FIRST EVER wine in Australia!
“Apparently it was unpalatable! But luckily L’Andre made a real good peach cider that kept the governor satisfied in the early days of Australian settlement”, Richard laughed.
The family of 6:
The bottle’s labels are based on this great story to carry the storytelling.
The Royal Admiral: The Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir is named after the ship that took L’Andre to Australia. The sparkling flaunts its creamy and toasty notes, with a fresh and fruity kick.
L’Andre: Shiraz Cabernet is deep red and deliciously smooth – undoubtedly packing a punch.
De Riveau: Sauvignon Blanc. This white wine is named after L’Andre’s cousin who was the definition of mischievous. He was kicked outside of Australia due to his naughty boy behaviour during the time of the castle hill convict uprising. “Goes to show how naughty the French can be” , Richard joked.
The Crescent: The Shiraz is named after the block of land in Parramatta.
La Vengeance: The Chardonnay is named after the Napoleon ship that helped L’Andre and the men raid 30 British ships!
“Our GSM wine is in the barrels, ready for blending, and will be soon available after Christmas”. This wine is named after Richard’s wife great great great great great grandfather who was a pioneer. He was the first white child born in northern Queensland, thus honouring the “Jorgensen” family name.
The Ayers House Tour
Richard also gave us a grand tour of the Ayers House. The house screams elegance, charm, and heritage. The house is a historic mansion from the nineteenth century on North Terrace, Adelaide.
The house was named after Henry Ayers, who was an influential politician and the premier of South Australia in the late 1860s when Ayers Rock was also discovered.
We were amazed at the fine architecture and painted decoration and the level of detail from the period. All the rooms were well preserved and furnished and the experience was delightful!
“Today, the Ayers family events and catering business has operated for 31 successful years”, Richard said.
Richard decided to expand the business by using a select number of retailers to sell online. We are proud to announce that Bottli is the first retailer for Landers Wines!
We are glad to have their quality wine on our website for everyone to enjoy. Purchase a bottle here.
Ayers House 2021, Landers Wines, <https://ayershouse.com.au/landerswines/>.