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Seven South Australian businesses are toasting success, after being named winners in the 2018 South Australian Best of Wine Tourism Awards.

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Adelaide, South Australia Best of Wine Tourism 2018 winners announced

All winners will go on to represent South Australia at the Great Wine Capitals international awards program, in Chile this November.

The South Australian winners are:

Accommodation: The Louise (Barossa)

A vista of gently rolling hills, 5000 acres of shiraz vines and a wide, open sky, there isn’t a more picturesque location than this. It was, in fact, this very view which, for US natives Jim and Helen Carreker, ended a world-wide search and saw the creation of an icon – The Louise Barossa Valley. Nothing is overlooked in this boutique venue, from the moment reception staff appear to greet you in the sculptural courtyard, to the state-of-the-art facilities (including a helipad, infinity edge pool with sweeping vineyard views and conference facilities, to the emphasis on privacy in the 15 guest suites.

Here you can choose to partake in one of the many exclusive tours offered, dine in the acclaimed Appellation Restaurant or the new, more casual Bar Louise, or simply enjoy the view from your private terrace. This is the ultimate culinary getaway, from which you can, in the words of Jim Carreker, “absorb the mood, the tone of the sky and the land in this beautiful area.” The Louise is the perfect, understated luxury from which to explore all the Barossa Valley has to offer. If there is anything more you require, all you need do is ask – The Louise will make it a reality.  www.thelouise.com.au/

Architecture and Landscape: Chapel Hill Winery (McLaren Vale)

As you drive around the bend on a typical country road the grandeur of Chapel Hill Winery rises from the hills, a spectacle of hand-hewn ironstone, stained glass and Methodist architecture. Expansions now see the winery as more a precinct than stand-alone building, although each new addition has been so carefully executed as to blend seamlessly with the namesake Methodist Chapel built in 1865. Homage is paid to the architecture at every turn – the stained glass window which draws visitors of its own accord and lends a certain magic to the interior has been adopted as the winery’s logo.

The delicious irony of a winery making its home in the chapel of tee-totalling Methodists is not lost, yet the utmost respect is given to the inherent spirituality of the place. Tasting Chapel Hill’s top-tier ‘icon’ wines seated in the chapel, with its high ceilings and carved stonework, promotes a hushed reverence. The architecture elevating the experience to something almost other-worldly. The deliberate lack of the traditional tasting bench in Cellar Door promotes movement within the building. Here the space in which you stand is treated with the same importance as the wine – encouraging exploration with all your senses. It’s the perfect way to discover McLaren Vale’s wines, landscape and history in one, simply beautiful location. www.chapelhillwine.com.au

Art and Culture: Coriole Vineyards (McLaren Vale)

There’s an energy about some places which simply draws you in – a cheeky, lighthearted and genuine spirit which is, simply enchanting. With its spectacular views of McLaren Vale’s vineyards to the coast and the Lloyd family at the helm, Coriole Vineyards is one such place. This spirit is a direct reflection of the vibrant Lloyd family, their awe-inspiring spark and love for the arts and incredible humility. To CEO Mark Lloyd, his many contributions to the arts are par for the course, saying “life is about art. When you have the opportunity to make it part of your business then you’re so fortunate.” The lifestyle connotations of enjoying a region’s food and wine in a beautiful location – the key elements to most wine businesses – are here moulded into unique ways of delivering ‘lost’ forms of art (classical music, poetry and choir performances) more accessible to the general public. Proceeds from their regular events and special release wines go directly to supporting participating artists in developing new work. Paying artists a fair wage is paramount to all projects. Sponsorship via donation is also given to the Adelaide Youth Orchestra, the South Australian State Opera and other arts and culture establishments.

It may have all begun because “the Lloyd family were just always extremely good at throwing parties” but it is the absolute buy-in of the entire Coriole team which will see this winery and their region’s artistic community continue to grow for generations. www.coriole.com

Innovative Wine Tourism Experience: Henschke and Hutton Vale Farm (Barossa)

Truth be told, the biggest asset of any region is not its produce or its landscape, it is its people. Those with a connection to the land so deep it’s an essential part of their being. In the Eden Valley, part of the greater Barossa region, this is certainly true of founding families Henschke and Angas (of Hutton Vale Farm). Their heart-felt authenticity is contagious and with their new, family-hosted offering, the Ultimate Authentic Barossa Experience, are putting the region on the world stage.

This intimate experience is about providing guests the most authentic, personalised experience of the region in a short period of time. The essence of “the way we work together and sense of place. In essence this is about sharing the best of food, family, wine and the land.” (Jan Angas) The love for this region shines brightly within both families, from their focus on sustainability to the warmth with which they receive their guests. To experience this welcome, see Eden Valley’s hills from the air in your private PC-12 aircraft, walk the iconic Hill of Grace vineyard, taste distinguished wines and ethically grown produce of the farm, hear the stories of 145 years of friendship between the families, is to fall in love. Fall in love with Eden Valley, the Barossa, and the simple charm of a rural life well lived.
www.thetailor.com.au/videos/ultimate-authentic-barossa-experience

Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices: Whistling Kite Vineyard (Riverland)

Organic and biodynamic are certainly buzz-words in the wine industry today, but Riverland producers Whistling Kite Vineyard’s dedication to these principles dates back 30 years to something far more personal than a trend. To owners Pam and Tony Barich “we are only custodians of the land, and it’s our duty to maintain healthy soil for future generations.” Founded in 1976 Tony’s abstention from synthetic fertilisers and nitrates was recognised as certifiably organic in 1997, with biodynamic certification coming 10 years later.

Whistling Kite wines do not shy away from seasonal unpredictability, embracing vintage variation as an essential part of winemaking, not something to be blended out. For Tony, “biodynamic farming allows the vineyard to truly express the fruit and characteristics of the vineyard on a vintage to vintage scenario, allowing us to tell more of the story of the wine.” What they’re producing here at Whistling Kite Vineyard is purity; sensory story telling of the quality of their vineyard and the Riverland region as a whole, on another plane.  www.whistlingkitewines.com.au/

Wine Tourism Restaurants: Hentley Farm Restaurant (Barossa)

Nestled along the banks of Greenock Creek, a modern atrium style dining room extends into the landscape from elegantly rustic 1880s stables. The building is a beautiful, visual indicator of what to expect from your Hentley Farm dining experience – definitively of the Barossa Valley, connected to its place like no other, yet with a modern, progressive edge. True to Barossa style there is a complete lack of pretension in this undeniably impressive restaurant, exuding a calm sense of welcome, of joining the extended family. Diners can experience an honest an direct connection to the food with the kitchen team – led by local Lachlan Cowill – venturing beyond their normal confines to serve dishes to the customer. Wine pairings to Hentley Farm wines are predictably executed with perfection. The subtleties of vintage and growing portfolio from which to choose plays of nicely against an ever-changing scope of produce from their own kitchen gardens, friends and local farmers or foraged from the surrounding landscape.

From the moment you venture beyond the hedge into this world where heritage and evolution harmonise, until you walk out the door holding your personalised menu, Hentley Farm is about making memories. Lifelong memories of South Australia, the Barossa, its food and its people. www.hentleyfarm.com.au/food-philosophy

Wine Tourism Services: Penfolds Magill Estate (Adelaide Hills)

The Penfolds name has long been synonymous with South Australia and the wine industry. With properties in both Magill (near Adelaide) and the Barossa Valley tourists have travelled throughout the state to experience the world’s most iconic wine brands. A recent redevelopment at the brand’s spiritual home, Penfolds Magill Estate has significantly raised the bar on delivering wine tourism experiences. Situated in the Adelaide foothills, just 8km from the CBD, Penfolds Magill Estate is the site for the original home of founders Dr Christopher and Mary Penfold. This rare, urban, single-site vineyard features 12 acres of vines first planted in 1844, the 173-year-old “Grange Cottage” (named for Mary’s English home), underground tunnels, a working winery, cellar door, dining and the vintage cellar.

A long-term project to refresh this beacon for Australian wine was finalised in 2015, creating specifically designed spaces to allow visitors to engage, explore, discover, enjoy and experience the quality and meaning of the Penfolds brand. There are three key features to this plan, each now housing various experiences to suit a myriad of tourists, their tastes – and visiting timelines: Penfolds Magill Estate Cellar Door, the perfect fusion of history and contemporary styling, the ultimate luxurious dining experience, Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant and its more casual sister restaurant, the new Penfolds Magill Estate Kitchen.

Penfolds Magill Estate has built an historical vineyard into a showpiece for South Australian tourism. The spaces and growing collection of walk-in and bespoke experiences on offer continue to grow awareness not only for the Penfolds brand, but for the region as a whole, a region they are very proud to be part of and will continue to work tirelessly for. www.penfolds.com/visit/magill-estate-cellar-door


About the Great Wine Capitals Global Network

Founded in 1999, the Great Wine Capitals Global Network is an alliance of nine internationally renowned wine regions – Adelaide|South Australia; Bordeaux, France; Mainz|Rheinhessen, Germany; Mendoza, Argentina; Porto, Portugal; Bilbao|Rioja, Spain; San Francisco|Napa Valley, USA, Valparaiso|Casablanca Valley, Chile and Verona, Italy.

The Best Of Wine Tourism awards serve as an industry benchmark for excellence and recognize leading wineries and wine-tourism related businesses within each Great Wine Capital that have distinguished themselves in areas such as innovation, service and sustainable practices. For more information visit www.greatwinecapitals.com.