Our Story

Explore four generations of contribution to the South Australian wine industry, the historic heart of Australian Wine.

We are a family with four generations of Australian winemaking tradition

Our family – the Hickinbothams – have been proud contributors to the Australian wine industry for over 80 years and over four generations. Our state, South Australia, is the historic heart of Australian wine and home to some of the most famous regions and the oldest vines in the country.

We have grapes and wine etched into our DNA. Back in 1929, Alan Robb Hickinbotham (“Hick” to his mates) was Australia’s first wine science lecturer and the founding father of winemaking education in Australia, establishing the now world-famous Oenology programme at Roseworthy Agricultural College, here in South Australia. Hick’s research laid the foundations for a technically advanced Australian wine industry and his legacy still lives on in our family and in our wine.

The current custodians of our family’s wine heritage are father and son, David and Alan with the support of Alan’s wife Louise and son Leo.

David, Hick’s grandson, has looked after our winemaking and management since we started Paringa more than two decades ago. He loves red wine, great food and Aussie rules football (Geelong – the greatest team of all), but not necessarily in that order!

Alan Robb (great-grandson of his namesake and David’s son) makes the Paringa wheels turn these days. He looks after all our production, grape growing and buying and also manages our sales and marketing. He’s a keen sportsman, playing both Aussie rules and cricket. Always on the hunt for a good wine to enjoy, Alan travels wherever and whenever he can. All in the name of research ☺

Dena, David’s late wife and Alan’s mum, kept our books (and our blokes) under control from the outset and we miss her very much.

As a family, and as proud South Australians, we’re always thinking about the generations to come, always planning for the long-term, and always taking care of the treasured family business that is our past, present and future.

“Our family – the Hickinbothams – have been proud contributors to the Australian wine industry for four generations, spanning 80 years”

The beginning of Paringa Wines

Our wine industry is globally recognised as a technological leader, with the seeds of knowledge and enthusiasm for many winemakers first planted at Roseworthy Agricultural College, here in South Australia. In 1998, the University of Adelaide dedicated the new $3m Hickinbotham Roseworthy Wine Science Laboratory to the legacy of Alan Robb Hickinbotham and his far reaching influence, pioneering research and education for professional winemakers and subsequent leaders of the Australian wine community.

Australian winemaking is a perfect balance between science and art but great wines begin in the vineyard. Since our family vines were first harvested in 1971, it’s our dedication to science and the technological advances of modern Australian viticulture that has seen our Hickinbotham vineyards become renowned for high quality, cost-efficient fruit. We were honoured to grow grapes for many of the industry’s leading winemakers and their iconic wines, including Penfold’s Grange.

We planted the Paringa vineyard in 1974 and it was a natural evolution for us to establish our own Hickinbotham label in 1999; Paringa was born. To this day our ethos is the same. Paringa continues to be reflective of place, good farming, skilled winemaking and dedication to enjoyable, affordable quality.

The Paringa Story

The name “Paringa” reflects our partnership with nature; it derives from the local Aboriginal language for “place at the river”. Farming one of the driest continents on earth, water and rivers have always been a major player in the vineyards; none more than the Mighty Murray.

For over forty million years the majestic Murray has risen in the Australian Alps, meandering northwest through inland plains across New South Wales, Victoria and into South Australia before finally reaching the Southern Ocean after a journey of more than 1,500 miles.

The Murray River has sustained life here for 40,000 years. As Australia’s longest river, its’ scale and importance is significant; the Murray-Darling basin catchment covers one-seventh of the country.

Amongst the stunning valley backdrop of limestone cliffs, as the Murray twists and turns, its’ water and fertile floodplain soils support over 30% of Australia’s total grape crush. A place where the soils are as ancient as they are ideal for vines. The backbone of the Australian wine industry, the Riverland, is the largest grape growing and wine producing region in country and accounts for 71% of South Australia’s annual crush.

We harness nature and the Murray river’s abundance, value the technological innovations of our forefathers and treasure our passion for a sustainable tradition – the art of winemaking. We have learned to listen to the land and respect our environment; we’re growing grapes to truly understand place. That’s what allows us to make the best value-for-money Shiraz in Australia, our focus is on exemplary quality at an affordable price.

This is water and wine country in perfect harmony.