Sevenhill wines honour Mother Mary MacKillop


The Mary MacKillop Shiraz
The Sevenhill Mary MacKillop Shiraz.
A winery in South Australia’s Clare Valley with links to Mother Mary MacKillop is releasing two celebratory wines to mark her Canonisation on 17 October.

Sevenhill Cellars, established by the Jesuit Order in 1851, has been appointed by the Mary MacKillop Foundation and the Sisters of St Joseph to produce the officially endorsed wines, with proceeds supporting the Foundation.

Mother Mary’s connection with Sevenhill was established when her brothers, Donald and Peter, attended Sevenhill’s boarding college in the 1870s. Donald went on to complete his initial training as a Jesuit at Sevenhill and later moved to the Northern Territory where he was Superior of the Daly River Mission for several years.

During her period of isolation from the church in 1871-1872 after her invalid ex-communication for alleged insubordination, Mary and her Sisters found caring support and encouragement within the Jesuit community. It was during this period that she spent time at Sevenhill, staying at Weikert Cottage to be near her brothers and to make a retreat.

The celebratory wines, which will be released in the first week of October, will be promoted through church and school networks around Australia.

Buyers will be able to choose a 2009 Shiraz from the Clare Valley and a 2010 Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon blend from the Adelaide Hills and Clare.

Chief Executive Executive Officer of the Mary MacKillop Foundation Sam Hardjono said the wine partnership with Sevenhill would support the Foundation’s commitment to 'small life-changing projects' around Australia.

“Since 1995, the Foundation has funded more than 300 of these projects, responding to the needs of rural and isolated communities, Indigenous groups and people with disabilities,” Sam said.

“As well as this, the Foundation has funded Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Tertiary Scholarships for more than a decade, with 31 graduates and another 23 currently enrolled.

“This wonderful partnership which will go a long way in continuing our work.”

Sevenhill’s General Manager Neville Rowe said the winery was deeply honoured to be involved in the wine partnership with the Mary MacKillop Foundation.

“We are very aware of our significant spiritual and heritage character at Sevenhill and the association with Mother Mary MacKillop and her brothers,” Neville said.

“Everyone here is very proud to be involved in producing these wines to honour and celebrate the creation of Mother Mary as Australia’s first saint.

“The Jesuits and Sisters of St Joseph have an enduring bond that was forged when Mother Mary was isolated from the church, so it is pleasing that we are able to recognise her sainthood with these celebratory wines from Sevenhill.”

For orders, call (08) 8843 4222 or visit

Sevenhill Cellars, the oldest winery in the Clare Valley, was established by the Jesuits in 1851 to produce sacramental wine. Today, the winery remains in Jesuit ownership and is a highly regarded for its table wines in addition to sacramental wine.

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