People & Place
Snow is Professor of Horticulture and Viticulture at the University of Melbourne, with a PhD in Soil-Plant-Water relations from Oregon State University. Snow has overall responsibility for managing our vineyards. His extensive knowledge in environmental plant biology, viticulture, plant water-use efficiency and climate change is very valuable, given Australia’s challenging conditions.
Snow grew up on Queensland and New South Wales sheep stations. He is involved in national and international scientific research, served on the Prime Minister’s Science Engineering and Innovation Council, and is a recent past President of Science and Technology Australia.
Jeni Port, wine writer with The Age, awarded Snow a Companion of the Order of Australian Wine (AWC ). Jeni’s award is made with humor but serious intent. It’s for ‘special contributions by our wines and the people behind them to our great nation’. Jeni recognised Snow for his ‘Services to Climate Change and the Wine Debate’. She writes: “Professor Snow Barlow … might raise an eyebrow but never his voice. He is patient – extremely so – despite the desperate nature of the news he is imparting. He is never too busy to talk and never too shy to stand up when something needs to be said. And he’s a damn hard worker. Professor Snow Barlow – plant physiologist, agricultural scientist, lecturer at Melbourne University, winemaker – has spent decades gathering and dispersing information about the effect of climate change on Australian vineyards. He is the first – and last – word on the subject.” (The Age, Good Food, 27 January 2015).
Winsome grew up in the vineyard valley, a descendant of Mary McCrimmond McPherson. She studied philosophy at the University of Melbourne, a discipline she’s found invaluable in her diverse roles. She is a Trustee of the Helen MacPherson Smith Trust and a Director of the MacPherson Smith Rural Foundation. Most recently she served as Senior Strategic Adviser (Research Partnerships) with the University of Melbourne. Her former roles include:
- CEO of AbaF (now Creative Partnerships Australia)
- Chair and CEO of ANZFA (now Food Standards Australia)
- CEO of Greening Australia Ltd
- Lord Mayor of Melbourne 1988-89 and nine years as a Melbourne City Councillor
- CEO of the Lance Reichstein Foundation
- Founder and Coordinator of the Community Child Association.
Sam is a leading figure in the Australian wine industry, winning over 400 medals from Australia’s highly competitive wine shows. Trophies include:
- Trophy for the Best Shiraz in Australia at the 2010 VISY Great Australian Shiraz Challenge
- Trophy for Best 2013 Victorian Shiraz
- Trophy for Best Victorian Cabernet at the 2014 Concours des Vins de Victoria
The Plunkett family has led wine-making in the Strathbogie Ranges region for sixty years. Sam was chief winemaker at Plunkett Wines from 1991 to 2006. Today he and his wife Bronwyn Dunwoodie operate a state-of-the-art, small-batch, custom-crush winery in the region. Sam makes world-class wines for several wine enthusiast families from the region, including our own.
Assisting us with our finances, accounts and office systems, Sophie has extensive accounting experience, a forensic eye for detail and steely respect for deadlines.
Sophie is French and loves Baddaginnie Run wines.
It’s the Baddaginnie Run team, together with family and friends, who make it all happen.
Our family stories and attachment to Strathbogie Ranges
Our family’s attachment to the Strathbogie Ranges and Boho valley goes way back. We love to tell our stories, honour our ancestors and remind our grandchildren they are the seventh generation associated with this land. Our connection began with matriarch Mary McCrimmond McPherson who arrived here in 1870 with daughter Emilia and her family. Mary is the many-times great grandmother of several grandchildren and many great nieces and nephews.
For three decades our wonderful extended family and friends have helped replant native flora across land cleared by ancestors and re-established the farm’s life-restoring bio-corridor networks. We thank our four children, their partners and children, and our siblings, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins for their endless encouragement and support. And we welcome their on-going engagement.
Stories from the 1870s to the 1970s
In 1852 Mary migrated to Australia from the Isle of Skye as a widow, bringing eight of her 13 children with her, and settling first in Melton near Melbourne. Mary’s daughter Emilia married another McPherson, Alexander McPherson (no-relation). The McPhersons were a feisty clan, pipers to Bonny Prince Charlie and his fierce supporters. The English Closures Act forced many small farming folk from the Scottish Highlands. Then the Clearances Act led to the destruction of farmers’ crofts, forcing them out. Thousands of Scots migrated with the determination to own their land and to educate the next generation.
In 1870 Emilia and Alexander (Winsome’s great grandparents) and Mary travelled by horse and dray from Melton to Warrenbayne West. They were granted land and built a home Glenfalloch. Jean Miller (nee McPherson) transformed this into a luxury B&B.
In 1927 Jim Howell, Winsome’s father purchased Rotherlea, the farm next door to Glenfalloch. By then this belonged to Angus McPherson, grandson of matriarch Mary, and his wife Ellen. Jim fell in love with Jane McPherson, great grand-daughter of Mary. When Jim and Jane married in 1935, Jane’ share of the Glenfalloch farm merged with the larger Rotherlea property.
From 1960 to 2014 Angus Howell, Winsome’s brother managed the Rotherlea farm which he owned until 2014. During a half century farming the valley he inspired and led family efforts around land restoration. He continues to be actively involved.
From 1978 Angus worked with neighbours researching causes of the district’s rising saline water tables and possible solutions. A century of clearing turned out to be the main cause, and replacing tree-cover the solution. They established one of Australia’s first land care groups, the Warrenbayne Boho Land Protection Group which played key roles at local, state and national levels and is active today. They raised awareness of land-degradation and encouraged public support for land care.
Angus Howell and Diana Chomley
Stories from the 1980s until today
In 1986 Bob Hawke, then Prime Minister, with support of all political parties launched the National Landcare Program. Angus served on state and national Landcare advisory bodies.
In 1991 Winsome was CEO of national Greening Australia Ltd (GAL) where she met Snow, then a GA NSW director.
In 1995 the Barlow and McCaughey families came together with a decision to create the Seven Sisters vineyard on Winsome’s ancestral land. The name reminds us of our seven generation association with the land. It also acknowledges an Inuit principle to: Consider the impacts of decisions taken today on the land’s ability to sustain seven generations on from now.
In 1996 Snow’s son Toby Barlow and Winsome’s brother-in-law John McCahon helped establish the vineyard under Leonie Stephens’ guidance. Leonie managed our vineyards for the next decade. Toby is one of Australia’s leading wine judges and winemakers, overseeing a cluster of wineries in the Barossa Valley.
In 2000 in partnership with Heather and Mike Greenaway and help from Angus and his partner Diana, we established our second vineyard. It’s on land formerly owned by Winsome’s mother, Jane McPherson so it is lovingly known as Janes.
In 2005 the connection between Snow and Winsome’s families was consolidated further with the marriage of Snow’s son Toby Barlow to Winsome’s niece, Marion Howell. Marion is a great, great granddaughter of matriarch Mary McPherson.
In 2012 – Baddaginnie Run received a significant grant from the Australian Biodiversity Fund to create the Baddaginnie Run Roadside to Ranges Bio-Corridors Network. When complete this will stretch 2.5 kilometers by 700 meters across farm, linking Strathbogie Ranges upland forests to original bush remnants on Violet Town plains.
Toby Barlow marries Marion Howell in the valley
Strathbogie Ranges Wine Region Victoria, Australia
Our Baddaginnie Run vineyard nestles in a valley at the northern end of the beautiful Strathbogie Ranges. This ancient massif emanates a sense of timeless mystery, with dramatic rocky outcrops, steep gullies, high plateaus and ferny glades.
The Strathbogie Ranges wine region is a well-kept secret, fast being discovered by wine connoisseurs. A small number of family wine companies create a diverse range of wine styles from the distinctive granitic soils. The limited quantities of quality wines from the region make these highly prized.
The benchmark red wine for the Region is shiraz, made in an elegant Rhone style with hints of peppery spices. The Ranges are also known for merlot, pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon. The Region’s white wines are fresh and deliciously aromatic with varieties, spanning crisp yet fruity verdelho, herbaceous sauvignon blanc, riesling, gewurztraminer, pinot gris, chardonnay.
The foundation of Strathbogie Ranges fine wines lies in the combination of soils and climate. Vineyards range from 150 metres to 650 metres above sea level. Soils are predominately granitic and acidic, with alluvial or colluvial sandy loams containing ironstone gravel and quartz over clay. Climate is continental with cold winters and warm to hot summers. Vineyards in the higher southern areas have a long, cool growing season. Further north summer days are hot, followed by cool nights. The region enjoys a long ripening season, which allows complex fruit flavours to develop.
The Taungurung People
(Material below is included courtesy of the Taungurung people. Further information can be found at taungurung.com.au/)
We respectfully acknowledge the Taungurung people as the traditional owners and rightful custodians of the Taungurung country in Central Victoria. They are also known as the Daung Wurrung, being the nine clans who spoke the Daungwurrung language. Their land encompasses the area between the Goulburn River’s upper reaches and its tributaries north of the Dividing Range; it goes from Kilmore in the west, Mount Beauty in the east, Benalla to the north, to the top of the Great Dividing Range in the south.
The ancestors of the Taungurung had an intimate knowledge of their environment and were able to sustain the ecology of the each region and exploit the food available. Taungurung travelled south during the deberer season and north as the weather cooled. Their nomadic nature enabled them to utilise their vast country’s resources in with care and efficiency. Among the resources used were:
- mirniong or yam daisy – a staple plant food providing a reliable source of carbohydrate
- bracken fern – used for food and medicine
- tree fern, kangaroo apple and cherry ballart – used for food
- Wangnarra or stringybark – used for constructing yilam (shelters) and weaving benak (baskets)
- fibrous plants, such as buarth (tussock grass) – used for burrt-tean (twine) and for garrt-girrk (nets)
Other species were used for timber to make malgarr (shields), gudjerrun (clubs), wangim (boomerangs), darnuk (water carriers) and gurrong (canoes).
The rich resources of the permanent rivers, creeks and tributaries and associated floodplains enabled the Taungurung to have an abundance of fish and other wildlife. Fish were speared and trapped while water birds netted and the mirrm (kangaroo), gorbil (koala), and barraimal (emu) provided nourishing food. Pelts from the walert (native possum) were sewn together to form googarra (cloak), ideal for cold and wet conditions. Plants such as kurrajong provided fibres to weave garrt-girrk (nets) for harvesting the nutritious deberer (Bogong moth) in the summer.
When Europeans first settled the region in the early 1800s, the area was occupied by theTaungurung. From that time, life for the Taungurung people in central Victoria changed dramatically and was severely disrupted by the early establishment and expansion of European settlement. Traditional society broke down with the first settlers arrival and soon afterwards and Aboriginal mortality rates soared as a result of introduced diseases, denial of access to traditional foods and medicines and conflict.
Aboriginal settlements were established in the area by missionaries and governments at Michellstown, Acheron and Coranderrk. However, despite relative success these were eventually dissolved through various government policies. The Taungurung and other members of the Kulin Nation were deeply impacted by the dictates of the various government assimilation and integration policies.
Today, the descendants of the Taungurung form a strong and vibrant community. Descendents of five of the original clan groups meet regularly at Camp Jungai – an ancestral ceremonial site. Elders assist with the instruction of younger generations in culture, history, and language and furthering of their knowledge and appreciation of their heritage as the rightful custodians of the Taungurung lands in Central Victoria. Evidence of the Taungurung can be found in many places throughout Taungurung Country. Scar trees, rock shelters, rock art and place names indicate they have been in this part of Victoria for thousands of years.
Many Taungurung people still live on their country and participate widely in the community as cultural heritage advisors, land management officers, artists and educationalist and are a ready source of knowledge concerning the Taungurung people from central are of Victoria. We are pleased to welcome you to our country – to enjoy the landscapes, the flora and fauna.
The Taungurung continue to care for this country and graciously welcome those who share a similar respect.
The Kelly Gang
L-R: Steve Hart, Dan Kelly, Ned Kelly
The Kelly Gang
Colourful local history includes the Kelly Gang
The Strathbogie Ranges have a rich and colourful history. The Kelly Gang of bush rangers traversed the Strathbogie Ranges from Glenrowan to Seymour during the 1870s. Ned Kelly spent his formative years in Avenel where he earned his green sash for extreme bravery aged 11. With his family he then moved to Greta – a little northeast of our vineyard. He and his fiery mother Kate were declared outlaws after Kate defended her daughter against unwelcome advances from the local constabulary. Winsome’s great grandmother passed on first-hand stories of how to handle the situation when … ‘the Kelly boys coming riding through’!
Villages, towns and rural cities
The Baddaginnie Run vineyards nestle in the Strathbogie Ranges between the Boho and Warrenbayne valleys, just two hours north of Melbourne. Violet Town, Victoria’s first inland surveyed town and home of the Violet Town Market is ten minutes away. The rural city of Benalla and tiny village of Baddaginnie are also close by.
Please click here for links to local attractions, accommodation and services