Karl Seppelt is a third generation member of the Seppelt family who are a long established Australian winemaking dynasty which originated in the Barossa in the 1850’s. In the early 1960’s Karl travelled overseas visiting many of the old world wine growing regions. It became “obvious” to him that for the Australian wine industry to progress beyond a predominately fortified wine producer, new regions suitable for premium table wine production needed to be found.
He sought out Government and private information on agricultural land that he considered might be suitable for this type of endeavour. Armed with this knowledge and further intelligence garnered from sending his vineyard manager Ossy Leske on a “holiday” to get local knowledge, Seppelt purchased land in Padthaway and Drumborg. In 1963/64 Drumborg was planted with Riesling and Padthaway with Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Over the past 40 years Drumborg has proven to be a quality producer of European style Riesling, and Padthaway has excelled with several varieties over its brief history. These include Riesling in the 1970’s, Chardonnay in the 1980’s and 1990’s and more recently Shiraz. Another aspect of Karl’s vision was the establishment of Chardonnay and in the late 1970’s, the Barooga Vinyard was the largest single Chardonnay vineyard in Australia.
Karl Seppelt as company viticulturist continued the expansion of vineyards in Padthaway into the 1980’s with the purchase of a neighbouring property for wine grape growing. He left the Seppelt company in 1985 to further pursue his wine growing vision at his Grand Cru Estate in the Eden Valley region, he is also an active contributor to the Australian Wine Industry through his involvement with the Adelaide wine show and other wine industry organisations.
The original name for the Padthaway region, “Keppoch” coined by Seppelt is no longer in use; however the legacy of Karl Seppelt’s vision of Padthaway as a winegrowing region lives on through the many superb and diverse wines produced in the area.