As the highly anticipated release of Yalumba The Caley 2018 approaches, we can't help but reflect on the fascinating origin story behind this renowned wine and the role it played in shaping Yalumba's success today. To truly understand its roots, we must journey back to 1893 when Fred Caley Smith, grandson of Yalumba founder Samuel Smith and great-uncle of current owner Robert Hill-Smith, embarked on an ambitious 18-month research expedition from Angaston in Barossa.
Fred Caley Smith, a young and ambitious horticulturist, had a clear mission: to expand the markets for Yalumba and Australian wines while exploring the latest horticultural trends. His travels took him from California, where he studied pears, peaches, plums, and apricots, to engaging with growers, fruit-canners, and industry professionals across various destinations such as Sri Lanka and London. Throughout his journey, Fred documented his experiences in numerous letters and journals.
Upon his return, Fred Caley Smith revolutionized Yalumba by introducing scientific methodologies to the winemaking process. His profound impact on the entire operation cannot be overstated, particularly during an era when Yalumba focused on both fruit orchards and vineyards. Tragically, Fred's life was cut short before his 50th birthday. However, his eloquent diaries and letters, which were recently discovered during renovation work, have elevated him to a cult figure within Yalumba.
The Caley represents a proud Australian tradition that spans over a century. In the 1880s, Yalumba pioneered the claret style, blending Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, a combination favoured by Australian winemakers at the time. Yalumba's bottles travelled the world, even being uncorked during family gatherings in India when Fred Caley Smith paid them a visit.
In 1999, the remarkable collection of Fred Caley Smith's letters was uncovered, adding a unique dimension to each release of The Caley. Today, these cherished letters serve as a testament to Fred's extraordinary journey, captivating wine enthusiasts worldwide.
Don't miss your opportunity to get your hands on the iconic Yalumba The Caley 2018, available at Sense of Taste from 9:00 am on Thursday, June 1st. Set your alarms and prepare to experience a wine deeply rooted in history and crafted with unwavering passion.