our chain reaction

every wine tells a story.

The ‘Chain of Ponds’, initially described a creek, ran all the way from Kersbrook to its confluence with the River Torrens near Prairie in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. The area was dotted at regular intervals with small ponds, having no visible connection above the ground yet never drying up even in the driest Summers. Much of these chain of water holes, known as the Chain of Ponds, vanished under the waters of the Millbrook Reservoir in 1918.

the early years

Philptown, the location and original name of the Chain of Ponds site, was named after Oliver Philp, the founding publican of the Morningstar Hotel. In 1864, the township changed its name to Chain of Ponds. Initially a postal village, it played a stopover role and resting place during the difficult trek across the ranges.

Due to hilly terrain, think dense scrub and poor road condition, travel through the area was extremely difficult. The Adelaide to Mannum coach service from the mid 1850’s used the Hamlet as one of four changing stations through the Adelaide Hills.

The neighbourhood was said to be celebrated for its vineyards and fruit trees.


Wine grapes were first planted in the Adelaide Hills in the early 1840’s. Situated east of Adelaide, the long and narrow Adelaide Hills region runs through the southern Mt. Lofty ranges.

It is one of South Australia’s largest wine growing regions, stretching from the edge of the Barossa and Eden Valleys in the North, to the boundaries of McLaren Vale and Langhorne Creek in the South.

The Adelaide Hills region enjoys a unique combination of elevation, fertile soils and a cool climate; allowing for slower maturation than other regions to produce refines and elegant wines.

One of the earliest wineries and vineyards in the area is mentioned in the Adelaide papers for sale as follows:

1865 — Swithen Farmer — Section 6131 "Chain of Ponds".
Winemakers Plant: Complete with several thousand gallons of wine, wine presses, fermenting vats, casks, large boilers. Wine vintages 1863-1865. 16acres of vineyard.

The Chain of Ponds winery was established in 1985 on the outskirts of Gumeracha, approximately 4km from the original township. While vineyards have been part of the area’s makeup since colonisation, the Chain of Ponds Winery was the first major planting of any note in the northern area of the Adelaide Hills Wine region.

With the first vintage dating back to 1988. An initial plating of four thousand vines consisted of nine varieties, 470 vines of each. This was further increased, with an additional 150 acres, planted in 1989.

In more recent times, the winery has extended vineyard boundaries to source fruit from a broader area of the region, allowing for greater varietal distinction and complexity.

Today the wine selection consists of three tiers;
Novello Range: From the Italian translation meaning ‘new', the wine are stylistically aimed at producing youthful, vibrant and fresh wines, ideal for drinking now.
Adelaide Hills Range: With the simple objective- allow the fruit to be the star. Wines that reflect the Adelaide Hills’ advantage.
Single Vineyards Series: Premium fruit selectively handpicked from single vineyards, to product elegant wines of varietal distinction.