Six generations have nurtured some of the most historic vineyards in Australia.

In 1839 William Formby arrived in Australia from the United Kingdom and it was in 1882, after four decades pioneering South Australia, he purchased the now historic Metala estate.

In 1891 William and his son, Arthur, planted 21 rows of Shiraz and 14 rows of, what are now the oldest family-owned Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the world. In 1894 a further 5.4 acres of Shiraz were planted.

After almost five decades making Metala wine in a purpose-built winery on the estate, the winemaking was transferred to Arthur’s Brother-in-Law, at Stonyfell Cellars. In 1962 Metala Shiraz Cabernet 1961 won the most coveted Australian wine accolade, the inaugural Jimmy Watson Trophy, becoming one of the most recognisable wines in the country. The wines continued to be made here until management shifted to various holdings beginning with Dalgety Wine Estate
in the early 1970’s.

In 1981, 5th Generation Guy Adams took over the management of the mixed farm estate. With a sincere appreciation and respect of viticulture and to family legacy, Guy, together with his wife Liz, began a 20-year long battle to return Metala to its original home. In 2022 the dream became a reality and Metala came home to Langhorne Creek and the family who planted and have nurtured the vines for more than 130 years.



Nurturing some of the oldest vines in Australia requires an innate appreciation for the land and as farmers of a mixed estate, including broad acre and livestock, the six generations have developed a regenerative farming philosophy that has been applied to all aspects, including vineyard management.

The Metala vineyard was established in 1891, when Guy’s Great Great Grandfather arrived from the United Kingdom and together with his son Arthur, planted the first Shiraz and Cabernet vines on the estate. The 14 rows of Cabernet Sauvignon planted in 1891 remain the oldest family-owned Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in the world.

Over the more than 130-year history the vineyard has grown to over 200 Ha under vine, consisting predominantly of Langhorne Creek’s regional hero Cabernet Sauvignon, and Shiraz.



As custodians of the some of the oldest vines in Australia, the philosophy to ‘be as light-footed as possible’, has been maintained for more than 130-years. Every action, be it in the winery or the vineyard has this philosophy applied and has ensured optimum quality each year.