The History of Brand's Laira


Just off the beaten track, tucked quietly away, is a hidden gem. Between the bustling capital cities of Melbourne and Adelaide lies Coonawarra, the internationally renowned wine region and home to Brand’s Laira. Brand’s Laira is an iconic winery, steeped in heritage with a wealth of old vine vineyards dating back to 1893.

In 1893, Captain Henry Stentiford purchased a block of land right in the heart of Coonawarra, today famous for its rich terra rossa soil. Captain Henry Stentiford would become integral to the region’s history as custodian of some of its founding vines – vines that still produce wine today.

Some 50 years later, in 1950, Eric Brand (a baker by trade) and his wife Nancy Redman acquired the same 24-hectare property with just over 2 hectares of Shiraz.

For the next 16 years, Eric worked as a ‘Blocker’ – the name given to Coonawarra landholders who sold their grapes to other wineries in the region. That is until 1966, when armed with an antique basket press, a must pump, 4 concrete fermenters, and blessed with the best Coonawarra weather of the decade, Eric produced his very first vintage under the Brand’s Laira name. Tellingly, Eric would become the First Patron of Coonawarra for his contribution to the region.

2017 was a great year for Brand's Laira, with the Flagship One Seven One Cabernet being awarded Best Coonawarra Cabernet at the International Wine Challenge.

In 2019, the Coonawarra Cellar Door had a state of the art refurbishment. A large, expansive interior now welcomes guests to the cellar door, with a striking ceiling that shelters and preserves the legendary Eric’s Shed. With a relaxing but modern indoor dining area, lounge and fireplace and a beautiful alfresco outdoor area overlooking the stunning vineyards, we are excited to welcome guests to our home.

Meet the Winemaker