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The Legacy of Peter Lehmann: A Winemaking Legend from Down Under


Peter Leon Lehmann, a legend in wine making was born in the heart of Australia’s renowned Barossa Valley. A prominent figure in the world of wine, Peter Lehmann’s life story is a testament to his dedication and passion for winemaking. This article focuses on the biography of this Australian wine producer and explores the remarkable journey of Peter Lehmann and the winery that bears his name.

Early Life and Unexpected Turn

Peter Lehmann’s journey began on August 18, 1930, in Angaston, South Australia, nestled in the Barossa Valley. He was born into a family with a unique background – his father was Lutheran Pastor Franz Julius Lehmann. However, Peter’s path took an unexpected turn when his father passed away suddenly in 1945 at the age of 55. In response, Peter left school to provide support to his grieving mother, altering the course of his life.

A Wine Odyssey Begins

In 1947, Peter Lehmann embarked on his wine odyssey by starting work at the Yalumba winery, working under the guidance of Rudi Kronberger. This experience laid the foundation for his career in winemaking. From 1960 to 1980, he served as the Winemaker/Manager at Saltram Wines, where his expertise continued to grow. However, Peter’s determination and entrepreneurial spirit led him to part ways with Saltram and create his own legacy.

Peter Lehmann Wines

In 1979, Peter Lehmann Wines was born. The winery, located in the heart of the Barossa Valley, has become synonymous with quality and innovation. With an annual production of around 600,000 cases, the winery’s reach extended far beyond Australia, with distribution to the United Kingdom, the United States, and many other countries[1].

The Peter Lehmann Wineyard
The Peter Lehmann of the Barossa | Source

One pivotal moment in the winery’s history occurred in 1977 when Saltram instructed Peter Lehmann to buy fewer grapes from their Barossa growers. True to his word and commitment to the local grape growers, Peter refused to comply. After negotiations, he was allowed to start an outside company called Masterson Barossa Vineyards, with financial backing from MS McLeod[2]. This gamble paid off, and the company was renamed Peter Lehmann Wines in 1982.

Over the years, the winery faced challenges and changes in ownership, including a heated bidding war in 2003 that led to its acquisition by the Swiss-based Hess Group. However, throughout this period, the commitment to producing exceptional wines remained unwavering.

Legacy and Family

Peter Lehmann’s dedication to winemaking extended to his family, with his son Doug Lehmann following in his footsteps as a noted winemaker. Sadly, Doug passed away in June 2013, leaving behind a legacy of winemaking excellence.

In conclusion, the story of Peter Lehmann is a testament to the power of passion and commitment. His journey from the vineyards of the Barossa Valley to the global stage of winemaking serves as an inspiration to wine enthusiasts and aspiring winemakers alike. Today, Peter Lehmann Wines continues to thrive, honoring the legacy of its founder and producing wines that reflect the rich heritage of the Barossa Valley. Peter Lehmann’s name will forever be associated with innovation, quality, and a deep love for the art of winemaking.

Did you know?

According to reviews, Peter Lehmann is one of Australia’s most renowned and creative winemakers.

Links to wineries represented by Peter Lehmann

Read More:



[2] Peter Forrestal, “Peter Lehmann obituary” The Guardian (11 Jul 2013)

Want to read more? Try these books!

Modern Home Winemaking: A Guide to Making Consistently Great Wines Wine Dogs Australia


Peter Lehmann Wines, “Our History,”

Peter Forrestal, “Peter Lehmann obituary” The Guardian (11 Jul 2013)

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