At Heartland we talk lovingly of our vines and soil, of our hard work and attention to detail and of the time taken in barrel and bottle to make the wines we offer. But what does it all mean? What is it all for? The end result is all that matters. It is that moment when you open a bottle of Heartland and discover all those sensations we have strived to include. It is the moment when the aromas, the texture and the flavours combine to fill your senses so you can taste it from where you are. Savouring the IT that we are all so passionate about.
The Heartland story began in the late 1990’s when winemaker Ben Glaetzer became excited about the outstanding quality of fruit being grown in some of South Australia’s lesser-known regions, in particular Langhorne Creek.
Together with industry veterans, Scott Collett, Grant Tilbrook and more recently Nick Keukenmeester, they grew Heartland into an award-winning winery.
“A really important point I want to get across is we’re not a group of investors that have got together and poured cash into it for the sake of doing it. We are at the coalface of it.”
Today Heartland sources all of its fruit exclusively from Langhorne Creek and makes only red wines.
Owner and Wine Maker
A key factor to the success of Heartland is that our winemaker is one of the owners. It is a great source of pride to us that our winemaker is Ben Glaetzer. Ben has received innumerable accolades from around the world for his winemaking prowess over a number of years. Although Ben is still young by winemaker standards; his list of accomplishments places him among the giants of Australian and international winemaking.
Owner and Managing Director
Nick divides his time between the winery, the tasting room, the vineyards and our distributors around the world making sure everything is perfect. As that job basically does itself, Nick spends time at home with his wife and two children.
Scott Collett of Woodstock Wines in McLaren Vale is also one of our owners. Scott has a long history of winemaking in South Australia and his knowledge and expertise (especially at both the board table and the dinner table) helps to keep us on track.
Susie is the beating heart of Heartland. From everyday operational needs to every minute inspirational needs; Susie holds the fort, stops the gaps, steadies the ship and does most of the work.
Kym is our production manager and deals with all the major issues and minutiae for which, the rest of us are completely unqualified.
Louise is our marketing manager and makes sure we are “social”. She also makes a point of keeping us on brand – except when Nick has an “idea”. She uses words the rest of us don’t understand.
Lynne manages our books and pays our bills. We don’t mess with Lynne.
Q&A with Ben & Nick
We asked Nick and Ben a series of questions so you can get to know them better. Here are their (candid) responses...
Ben: ‘Make’ sounds too forced. Try guide. Fermentations are either like a lost tourist or a freight train. Either way, my job is to keep them on their tracks.
Nick: Why make anything? It is a great privilege to hold something tangible and be able to tell yourself that you played a part in its creation. That is twice as true when it is something that gives pleasure to others.
Ben: To make all the hard work worthwhile.
Nick: I can’t sing Harry Belafonte songs without wine. I can’t sing them anyway, but the wine eases the pain. Unless my wife is filming me.
Ben: Not getting to do this anymore. I would be a rubbish accountant.
Nick: Big ships and sharks and sharks in big ships.
Ben: The Belin Philharmonic as conducted by von Karajan… seriously.
Nick: I like the old rock classics like The Who, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin...but A Tribe Called Quest are good too.
Ben: The Foreign Correspondent in summer and the Sposa e Sposa in winter. I like the soft and supple touch of the Dolcetto and Lagrein. Obviously, any of the pasta dishes I whip up at home is the best match.
Nick: I always go back to the Cabernets. The thinking person’s wine, for good company or just quiet reflection. It is perfect with red meat too.
Ben: My car's Accelerator.
Nick: I have small children. Toys are things you step on in the dark. So, the soft ones, I guess.