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JESUITICA: Fine wines down under

sevenhill_wine_01“Complex savoury scents and plush, textured bass line with soft, natural-acid balance, with notes of charcoal, prune fruits and Havana leaf.” So goes one reviewer’s assessment of St Ignatius (2006), a magnificent red produced in Sevenhill Cellars, the oldest winery in South Australia’s Clare Valley. Founded by two Austrian Jesuits in 1851 in order to provide sacramental wine to the emerging Catholic parishes, Sevenhill was part of a larger presence of Jesuits, which included St Aloysius’ Church and a Catholic boys’ school. The winery now produces many award-winning wines, particularly its St Ignatius Cabernet and its Inigo Rieseling. Overseeing the operation is Br John May SJ, one of a number of Jesuits who live in Sevenhill, where there is also a Centre of Ignatian Spirituality.