Ian and Robyn Henderson are the founders and owners of Lirah. Robyn’s family, the Puglisi’s, are 3rd generation Italian immigrants and vinegar is part of the natural mix of wine, food, and friends that makes Italian culture famous. Like all good Italian families, the Puglisi’s started a vinegar barrel to make their own wine vinegar. The vinegar barrels were started in 1969, the same year Ian was born. They were maintained, and used by the family for 35 years before Ian was granted custodianship of the barrels to begin a professional vinegar making enterprise.
All the red wine vinegars that Lirah makes come from the original vinegar culture, known as “The Mother” derived from the original family vinegar barrels.
Today, Lirah operates from a state of the art, purpose built vinegar making “winery” on Ian and Robyn’s farm. Set amongst the vineyards we use to make our Verjus, it is an environmentally sustainable building where all our waste products are disposed of on our property. Special permission was obtained from the Environmental Protection Agency for the construction of our facility to ensure the protection of native bushland.
Whilst the facility is modern and new, the vinegar making practices inside remain traditional, with old oak barrels used to age our red wine vinegars. Lirah takes great pride in blending old and new methods and styles under the watchful eye of our professional, highly qualified and experienced Vinegar Maker, Ian Henderson
First commercial Vinegar Production starts with dry vinegars in retail sizes only
First Exports of retail products to the USA
First Australian domestic sales in Queensland
First foodservice products launched in plastic 1L bottles
Purpose designed and built vinegar facility completed
Ian Henderson awarded prestigious “Sir Winston Churchill” fellowship to study vinegar making in Europe.
Verjus products added to the existing vinegar product lines
First exports to Canada begin
Bulk vinegar production as an ingredient for other food manufacturers begins.
Sweet vinegars released to support existing dry vinegar
First exports to New Zealand commence
Caramelised Balsamic range added to the Lirah portfolio.
Major expansion to vinegar facility. New warehouse finished.
Major Staff expansion. New vinegar makers, dedicated Quality Managers and admin staff join the Lirah family
Official opening of the Australian Vinegar Head office and Innovation Centre in Stanthorpe