The homestead block of the property was purchased from the crown in 1854 by Christian Schoff for a sum of £253. Later it was sold to Friedrich Ehregott Schwarz who was often quoted as saying “sheep have golden feet” and he developed the property significantly. During the 1890’s wool boom Friedrich built a large bluestone homestead.
In 1957 the property was purchased by Hector George Brooks (Tony’s Grandfather) who named it Pindarie, an Aboriginal word meaning “hilly place”. The Brooks family have a long tradition of land ownership and even a vineyard, beginning with Joseph Brooks who came to South Australia from Worcestershire England on the ship “Eden” in 1838. Joseph purchased land at Hoyleton and planted 5000 vines, but a dry winter resulted in only two plants surviving… so the tradition of vineyards was put on hold for a few generations. His son George and grandson Edmund were more successful and built up an empire of properties in South Australia and Western Australia including Buckland Park and Clifton Hills. Tony Brooks is the sixth generation of Brooks in Australia, with the love of the land and outdoors well entrenched in his genes.
Pindarie today is a sustainable blend of sheep, pastures and vines. The sheep graze amongst 100 year old olive trees scattered throughout the hills in summer and graze amongst the dormant vineyards in winter (natural fertilizer is great for vines). Hay and pastures are grown on the lower paddocks where the soil is more fertile, and vines are grown on the stonier less fertile eastern slopes. All this blends in with the harmony of surrounding native vegetation. Since 1990, thousands of indigenous native trees and shrubs have been planted throughout the property. A six hectare reserve along one of the creeks has been fenced off and revegetated to help conserve the flora and fauna that occur naturally in this area. We believe biodiversity is an important factor in sustainable agriculture today.
Housed in an old grain store, and adjacent heritage stables, the cellar door has been restored from the ground up by Tony. The majority of materials used have been recycled, from salvage yards, clearing sales, locally and around South Australia. The slate for the veranda came from the 750-acre property and the original old tin sheeting from the roof has been used as the ceiling. Tony’s meticulous eye for detail and passion for stonework shine through.