Some years back, Jenny Houghton received an email from an inquisitive Israeli who wanted to know why Lieutenant- Colonel Leslie C. Maygar, an Australian soldier with a Hungarian name, was buried on the World War I battlefields of Beersheba in his country. It seemed a fair question.
If the young man found the ensuing tangle of history, places and names confusing, he would have possibly been more perplexed to learn that Maygar and his deeds in three major conflicts were also the inspiration behind one of Houghton’s wine labels.
Her vineyard, Maygars Hill, is a bit of a rarity, one of few in the world named not only after a war hero but featuring a portrait on the label of Maygar in 1903 Commonwealth full- dress uniform. It’s a talking point, something the naturally loquacious Houghton doesn’t mind indulging.
Sometimes she finds visitors to her winery outside Euroa arrive laden with history books as well as a thirst. ‘‘We don’t even talk about wine at all,’’ she says.