T & S Kidman Story


Tim Kidman is a 5th generation Kidman farmer and grew up to be a viticulturist, educated hands-on in the field by the two men who would then hand us the responsibility to make our own mark at our Coonawarra vineyard.  Our original vineyard, Clytha, was planted in 1970 by Grant Wood, Tim Kidman's grandfather, with Tim 'helping' to his fullest three-year-old capacity. Today, forty five plus years and three generations later (four generations when you include our own very young "assistant managers"), husband and wife team, Tim and Sarah Kidman, not only care for those original vines, but have expanded the vineyard tenfold with additional vines of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Coonawarra's very first Viognier. 

Tim Kidman's maternal grandfather, Grant Holden Wood, was a mechanical engineer by trade, so it is probably no surprise that he ended up in the car industry. However, it is extraordinary that he helped build a car that shared his middle name, participating in the glory as the very first Holden rolled off the production line in 1948. Eventually, he would become general manager at General Motors’ Elizabeth plant. In 1970, Grant Wood retired from Holden for greener pastures, quite literally. Heading to Coonawarra, he bought a property named Clytha at the northern end of the Coonawarra terra rossa strip near his farming daughter Judy and son-in-law, Jim Kidman (Tim's parents). Grant went to work planting a small vineyard and would join with his illustrious neighbours at the end of a strenuous day, standing around a spit-bucket on the terra rossa red dirt tasting the fruits of their labours. Eventually, as the vineyard grew in age and size, he not only had the enjoyment of growing grapes and tasting wines made from the vineyard by various wineries, but also passing on his knowledge to Jim Kidman, who helped manage the property. Our Clytha vineyard continues to be the third oldest family planted, managed and continuously owned vineyard in Coonawarra.

Having taken over the reins of our Coonwarra vineyard in 1990, we now take great pleasure (and a great measure of pride) in releasing wines under our own label. For many vintages, we’ve quietly celebrated as our grapes have helped turn some of Coonawarra’s most famous brands into multiple trophy winners. As our new wines have already startled the wine judges, it’s really no surprise that Wood Block Wines is already tasting success. We welcome you to see how they taste and judge for yourself.