Our Story

Hand-crafted by 5th generation vignerons

Image: Linda & Dennis Hage. Barossa Valley Vintage Festival Grape Picking Champions 1951

James and Jo Hage welcome you to Troll Creek


Nestled into the Eastern foothills of the world-famous Barossa Valley wine region, the Hage family have called the tight-knit community of Bethany home for five generations.

Yet, as you’ll discover, the roots of these vignerons run deeper still in the rich and fertile soils of the Barossa.

GROWING UP IN THE BAROSSA

Now a 5th generation grape grower, James is the youngest of seven children, and has fond memories of growing up amongst the vines.

Back in the era when May through to September was spent helping his parents’ hand-prune row after row, as they tended to their home block in Bethany.

While his family had a very strong work ethic, James will tell you with a smile that enjoyment was always a big part of it. Working was positive and fun. After toiling in the vineyards, they always had fun at the end of the day – enjoying a few drinks, going fishing and yabbying or spending time with family.

As well as growing grapes, the Hage family continued with mixed farming, and it was only in the 1950s, that James’ father really concentrated on grape growing and began selling their premium fruit.

James was destined to continue his family’s work. He has come to know every contour of his family’s land and relishes the opportunity to still hear the old stories and learn from his father, who is now 98.

As well as integrating modern and sustainable practices into every season of his vineyard management, James is proud to continue the old traditions he learnt as a child – pruning and picking the old vines that produce the premium fruit for Troll Creek by hand.

Like other Barossa families, the Hage family began making their own wine decades ago – to reap the rewards of tending to their vines, and to enjoy drinking their own wine with family and friends.

Then in 1998, Jo and James established Troll Creek, to honour their family’s history, create fine wines that they love and reflect the true characteristics of their fruit. With such strong family ties, Jo and James are proud that their Winemaker is also their nephew, Christian Canute.

The Barossa’s oldest village

James’ ancestors were part of the original wave of Silesian immigrants who journeyed halfway around the world from Prussia in 1847, and then it was James’ Great Grandfather who settled in Bethany in 1880.

At this time, the village of Bethany had been established in German ‘Hufendorf’ style, or mixed farms. The shape of the blocks was unique to Bethany, with houses built along the main road, and each family had a long narrow strip to give them access to the Tanunda Creek, as well as road frontage so they could bring their cattle and sheep to the road or sell their produce.

More than a century later, you can now explore our family’s village, to soak up the richness of the culture and history, experience the generosity of Barossan hospitality, and delight in our region’s exquisite wines and gourmet produce.

The legend of Troll Creek

Ask James about the meaning behind Troll Creek and he’ll respond with a chuckle.

It’s a story that began when an old red gum slab bridge was built by his forefathers in the early 1900s, to span a tiny creek among the vines. This bridge has stood the test of time and as each generation has worked the vines, they’ve shared with their children the family legend of the Troll who lives under the bridge.

Today, James and Jo are still tending to the Home Block and each year James hand selects rows of premium old vine Shiraz and Cabernet to produce Troll Creek’s rich full-bodied red wines.


 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY

Troll Creek acknowledges and pays respect to the Ngadjuri, Peramangk and Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the Barossa and Adelaide Hills region. We acknowledge their relationship, attachment and deep connection to Country, and pay our respects to the Ngadjuri, Peramangk and Kaurna elders, past, present and emerging.