Why Scottish Highlanders?
Why not? Set off in one of our Landrover Defenders as part of our Vineyard Experience and you’ll discover there is more to our Holy Grail vineyard than just vines and a breathtaking view.
Highland cattle have a docile temperament, Brutus and his ladies are no exception. Although, they are naturally quite protective of the calves and during feeding time, let’s say there is a little bit of argy-bargy in the ranks. Records show that Highland cattle are actually the oldest registered breed in the world and interestingly, a group of Highland Cattle is not called a herd but a “fold” instead. Our “fold of five” are free to graze around their large acreage paddock living the high life. Brutus and his family are often seen taking a dip in their purpose-made dam or leisurely lying around, just taking in the splendour of the Holy Grail vineyard.
A few years ago our Proprietor and Managing Director Michael, realised a dream when he purchased a small herd of Scottish Highlanders from our neighbours the Tscharke family. The team walked them from the family winery over to our vineyard Holy Grail early on a Sunday morning, along the iconic palm tree-lined Seppeltsfield Road. Michael still laughs remembering one of the cows having a huge chunk of date palm wedged in one of its horns.
We loved our original bull Brutus, he was already massive and quite old when we purchased him. Sadly as he aged his mobility got slower and slower, and his health started to decline, but in true Brutus style he left us two of his prodigy just before he passed away at the ripe old tender age of 21. Brutus’s bloodline, along with the two female cows Clementine and Cloe, can be traced right back to the original stock of Scottish Highland cattle that arrived on Australian shores in the 1950s.
In the middle of 2021 Michael and our Viticultural Manager, Travis Coombe, set about the task of finding a new young Bull to keep Clementine and Cloe company at our Holy Grail vineyard. After some research, they found the most beautiful 18-month-old Bull that was residing at Robe in the South East of South Australia. Michael ventured down to Robe to meet young Brutus 2.0 and to run his eye over him.
Young Brutus is a handsomely striking young bull, with a near-perfect straight back and terrific feet. Michael spent some time with him in the encloser and immediately loved his soft and gentle temperament. On the 4 hour drive back from Robe to Seppeltsfield, Michael stopped often to give him some straw and a warm pat. Young Brutus has settled in very well to his new home at Holy Grail, he is a different colour to Old Brutus, who was a deep red, whereas Young Brutus is a Dun colour. It will be exciting to see what the colour of his offspring will be in the years to come.
As for our lady cows, we have always had two to be companions to Brutus. Their names are Clementine and Cloe. Clementine is the older of the two cows, she has the larger set of horns and they are much more twisted than her sister. Cloe also is the younger of our two cows, she has a flatter set of horns and is slightly smaller in size.
Both ladies deliver two of the most beautiful fluffy calves every spring. It’s quite easy to tell that they are pregnant but you have no idea when they will give birth, there is nothing better than going to check on the herd and seeing the most beautiful little face appear from behind a pile of straw. It is a thrill to see a new calf arrive and watch them develop over the coming months.
From the Class of 2021 we received a little bull calf named Alfie and a little dark brown heifer named Roses, they are both growing very quickly and love just hanging out and saying hi to any new visitors. Alfie in particular loves vineyard experience guests and will run over to our Cellar Door Manager, Mitch, ready to receive some fruit and a good scratch. Over the years we have given Brutus’s offspring to friends that live in the Adelaide hills and we are now in the position to on-sell our babies each winter in the following season, if you are interested in purchasing a young calf, please contact us at email@example.com