Grampians winery Mount Stapylton to release 2014 Ivan Shiraz

FINE WINE: Mount Stapylton Wines owner Howard Staehr with a bottle of his 2014 Ivan Shiraz which will be released at a dinner in Halls Gap. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

FINE WINE: Mount Stapylton Wines owner Howard Staehr with a bottle of his 2014 Ivan Shiraz which will be released at a dinner in Halls Gap. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

MOUNT Stapylton Wines in the Grampians will release its 2014 Ivan shiraz at the Grampians Grape Escape wine dinner later this month.

Mount Stapylton plans to release the shiraz at a dinner at the Comfort Inn Country Plaza at Halls Gap on Saturday, April 30.

The Mount Stapylton shiraz wines consistently rank in the top 40 shiraz wines in the largest international competitions in the world and the 2014 Ivan Shiraz was another great vintage, vineyard owners Howard and Samantha Staehr said.

They will also present their wines for tasting at the Grampians Grape Escape weekend at Halls Gap Recreation Reserve on Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st May 2016. For people wanting to attend the wine dinner please refer to website www.mts-wines.com for booking details. 

Raised in the Grampians on a family farming property growing grain and sheep, Howard went to school at Horsham and played football for Laharum and Horsham.

In 1973 Howard moved to Melbourne to play football with Essendon where he completed a Bachelor of Business at RMIT university.

After completing his degree, a career in  corporate finance for large public listed companies beckoned.

It cut short his football career but Howard continued to run professionally. He even tasted success at Stawell.

In 1987, Howard purchased the historic Goonwinnow Homestead and farming property at Laharum, which was built in the early 1900s. The property was next to his family’s farm.

Howard regularly entertained clients at winemakers’ dinners, where he developed a desire to make his own wine.

While his work drew him to the city, his passion for wine and farming in the Grampians drew him back.

After extensive research on the climate, soil profiles and terroir of the region and completing a short viticulture course, Howard and Samantha sought the advice of Viv Thompson from Best’s winery at Great Western.

The couple planted 1600 vines on a hectare of land at Laharum on the western slopes of the Grampians in 2002.

Howard engaged winemaker Don McRae and the vineyard produced its first shiraz vintage in 2004.

The 2006 vintage won a gold medal and was ranked second in the world at the prestigious 2008 Vienna International Wine Challenge.

Subsequent vintages have been ranked 12th, 20th and 37th in the largest international competitions in the world.

Today, Howard continues the tradition of presenting regular wine dinners to introduce a new wave of vinophiles to showcase the wines of the Grampians region.

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