The Valley & The Family
We’re creating exquisite wines that embody the distinctive flavours of our valley terroir, and we’re restoring native vegetation to sustain future generations.
Excellence – Producing exquisite wines to highest standards of complexity and integrity.
Sustainability – Caring for Country by regenerating biodiverse eco-sytems and sequestering carbon.
Generational equity – Considering the impact of today’s decisions on the land’s capacity to support future generations.
Baddaginnie Run (BR) wines come to you from a trusted provenance - the family vineyard of Winsome McCaughey AO and Professor Snow Barlow situate in a beautiful Strathbogie Ranges valley, not far from Baddaginnie.
We pay our respects to the Taungurung peoples of the Kulin Nation, who as the traditional owners of these lands, will have stories going back 65,000 years. We honour their cultural knowledge and practices and are aware we have much to learn from First Nations people about the harmonious ways they’ve cared for country over aeons.
Our family’s stories in the Valley are much more recent - grandchildren, great nieces and nephews are now seventh generation with a strong sense of belonging to and love of country. Their (many times over) great grandmother, the widow Mary McCrimmon-McPherson arrived here with daughter Emilia and her family in 1870.
At that time the valley was densely forested. But colonial governments of the day required the valley be cleared for food production. Our ancestors did a such a thorough clearing job that land was laid bare within a few of decades; and the following 120 years of intensive sheep and wheat farming resulted in compacted soils and huge loss of biodiversity, ecosystems and habitat.
By the 1970s, family member Angus Howell recognised things needed to change. With neighbours, he founded one of Australia’s first land care groups and spent many years fostering and facilitating replacement of native vegetation.
When we (Snow and Winsome) came together and took responsibility for our part of the valley in 1996, we understood what our ancestors could never have known back in the 1870, that:
- Australian soils are incompatible with many traditional European stocking and cropping practices,
- Australia and the planet were facing crises in Climate Change and in Biodiversity loss; and that
- If Australian farmers are to keep producing food while sustaining land for future generations, then new ways of farming must be found which balance productivity and biodiversity
These factors, together with our deep commitment to caring for country and love of family, inspired us to embark on two linked projects: Baddaginnie Run Wines and Baddaginnie Run Bio-Corridors. Through ‘action research’, we aimed to find ways of producing quality wines while restoring ecosystems and storing carbon. Snow was then the foundation Professor of Viticulture at the University of Melbourne and brought with him knowledge derived from many years research in soil and plant sciences. Winsome brought ideas from a decade of experience as the national CEO, first of Greening Australia and then of the Australia’ food authority.
We decided to produce grapes – not only because we love fine wine, but because it’s a form of intensive agriculture that yields high returns. This enabled us to release other land for regenerating native vegetation around vineyards.
In 2012, a federal Australian Biodiversity Fund grant enabled us to link together earlier plantings done by the family, with further flora regeneration. Today, vineyards flourish within a connected farm landscape of bio-corridor networks that bring biodiversity and productivity benefits back to the valley.