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On Friday 23 September, the National Wine Centre of Australia played host to the official announcement of the seven South Australian businesses named as the winners of the Best of Wine Tourism awards as part of Adelaide’s membership to the Great Wine Capitals Global Network.

The announcement took place during the South Australian Wine Industry Association’s (SAWIA) annual general meeting luncheon, attended by approximately 100 political officials, SAWIA board and committee members, regional wine association representatives and wine industry guests.

The winners represent the best of SA’s wine tourism businesses, selected by a highly credible and well respected judging panel from media, research and education, and food industry circles.

The inaugural awards program shines a spotlight on the best from South Australia’s wine regions allowing them to stand alongside some of the world’s most prestigious and well-known wine operators from around the globe.

Each of the South Australian award recipients will now go on to represent Australia in the international awards program with a final winner from each great wine capital to be announced in Porto, Portugal in November.

The South Australian award winners are:

Accommodation Category: The Louise (Barossa)
Owners since January 2005, Jim and Helen Carreker spent more than ten years researching and ultimately selecting the heart of the world renowned Barossa Valley for their luxurious accommodation property The Louise. The property, with its sophisticated contemporary designs and private spaces, is surrounded by breathtaking vineyard views. The Louise offers their guests a range of exclusive experiences connecting with the genuine culture of the Barossa Valley, from wine tasting with local artisan winemakers for the wine enthusiast, to joining their chefs at the local farmer’s market as they gather provisions and share in their passion for the food of their region.
Judges’ Comments: The Louise offers a premium and diverse experience and its approach to collaboration creates a sense of community that truly delivers on the international stage.

Architecture and Landscape: Primo Estate (McLaren Vale)
Located in South Australia’s picturesque McLaren Vale, Primo Estate offers the region’s most stylish wine tasting experience at their award winning cellar door. Inspired by owner Joe Grilli’s vintages in Europe, the iconic modern cellar door and tasting room opened in 2006, working with the landscape to engage all the senses. The design is nestled into the landscape and hidden from the road, imparting a sense of discovery for visitors. Like Joe Grilli’s wines, the building uses Australian natural materials with a touch of Italian style to produce something unique. The design is fulfilling Joe’s long term plan of growing into the landscape, trees planted back in 2006 softening the sleek modern lines.
Judges’ Comments: Primo offers an outstanding visitor experience led by the contemporary and impressive Cellar Door structure, which “when coming over the rise, takes your breath away.”

Art and Culture: Seppeltsfield Estate (Barossa)
Seppeltsfield estate has layered art, design and culture into their existing wine and food tourism experience. In 2013, the estate welcomed JamFactory to the Barossa, with a contemporary craft and design gallery, retail shop and onsite design studios. Visitors can meet the professional artisans in residence working in a variety of media and view their skills in action with public workshops available. The shop features an extensive range of hand-crafted Australian made and designed products. The gallery presents a diverse program of curated exhibitions showcasing local, national and international work by leading artists. Additionally, the estate has created a pop-up food and wine event series – unearthed@seppeltsfield – designed to highlight the secret cellars, secluded vineyards, hidden rooms and heritage-listed buildings to be found on the property.

Seppeltsfield actively connects cultural themes to their annual event program, introducing a number of initiatives based on cultural celebration. ‘Bonjour Barossa’ – a French food and cultural celebration and various activities within Barossa Vintage Festival and Barossa Gourmet Weekend are aimed at deepening the estate’s connection with community and culture.
Judges’ Comments: Seppeltsfield offers an impressive visitor experience incorporating a diverse range of discoveries, and with a commitment to continuing to broaden the offer. It truly delivers on the international stage.

Innovative Wine Tourism Experience: Banrock Station (Riverland)
Situated in the heart of the Riverland, Banrock Station, a part of the Accolade Wines portfolio, is the ideal setting to enjoy fine wine, food and unique wine tourism experiences. The Wine and Wetland Centre overlooking the vineyards and wetlands is the perfect spot to relax and enjoy a glass of Banrock Station wine and local produce available in the Riverland. Banrock Station offers visitors 8 kilometres of self-guided walking trails and the opportunity to experience magnificently restored wetlands, with story centres, information huts and bird-viewing hides. Depending on the season, guests can view abundant wildlife during the wet phase or explore the wetland bed during the dry phase.
Judges’ Comments: Banrock Station has long been a leader in ecotourism and environmental practices. The recognition this award brings, also provides the incentive to continue to innovate and enrich the visitor experience.

Wine Tourism Restaurants: Skillogalee (Clare Valley)
An old stone cottage built in 1851 is home to Skillogalee’s vibrant and cosy restaurant, where visitors can enjoy a relaxing afternoon sampling some of the Clare Valley’s best local produce matched with Skillogalee’s world class wines. The emphasis of their menu is on interesting dishes reflecting seasonality of produce. Diners can enjoy their culinary delights on the verandah and under the shade of an old olive tree, overlooking a cottage garden and the vineyards – a wonderful slice of Australiana. Their advantage is offering guests to try Skillogalee wines in the way they were intended to be enjoyed – with food. This property has been one of the cornerstones of the food tourism industry in this part of South Australia; what started out as just a few dishes to enjoy with wine, has now turned into a destination restaurant.
Judges’ Comments: Skillogalee offers a wonderful family story, with an approach to personalised customer service that is second to none. Importantly, it is an experience that typifies South Australia and has proven to be very competitive on the international stage.

Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices: Kalleske Wines (Barossa)
For over 150 years the Kalleske family have been farming and growing grapes at their Greenock farm in the Barossa Valley. Throughout this time each generation has been vigilant in looking after the property for the next generation by not only preserving but enhancing the natural environment. Today, genuine sustainability and careful environmental practices continue to be at the core of the Kalleske farming, grapegrowing and winemaking. Australian certified organic and biodynamic practices in the vineyard and winery ensure the soil, air and waterways are not polluted with synthetic chemicals and fertilisers. Since the first wine release in 2004, Kalleske has rapidly gained a reputation for producing top-quality hand crafted organic wines. The Kalleske family are active practitioners of sustainable farming and are committed to continue making genuine estate grown wines of individuality and of vineyard and winemaking excellence.
Judges’ Comments: Kalleske offers a wonderful family farming story, which is an excellent example of our state’s clean and green credentials.

Wine Tourism Services: Seppeltsfield Estate (Barossa)
Seppeltsfield was established in the Barossa Valley just 15 years after the European settlement of South Australia. Steeped in rich Barossan heritage, the estate is considered a true national treasure which helped shape the history of the Australian wine industry. Seppeltsfield is most famed for the Centennial Cellar and its subsequent ‘Centennial Collection’ barrel holdings. The Seppeltsfield’s Centennial Cellar is the remarkable vision of Oscar Benno Pedro Seppelt, who in 1878, began the legacy of maturing single vintage Tawny for 100 years before release.
Benno’s foresight has led Seppeltsfield to nurturing the world’s longest and only unbroken collection (lineage) of single vintage tawny since 1878. A living museum of Australian winemaking history, the collection is undoubtedly the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the Seppeltsfield estate.

Seppeltsfield offers a diverse range of wine tourism experiences, ranging from Daily Heritage Tours and fortified wine & food pairings, to privately hosted Centennial Cellar Experiences. Employing a dedicated VIP Manager, guests can enjoy Centennial Cellar Experiences such as tasting wine made in your birth year, to sampling a lineage of wines marking significant moments in history across the 20th century.
Since 2013 and as a result of over 18 months of extensive redevelopment to include the incoming of FINO Restaurant and JamFactory Contemporary Art & Design Studios, the property has experienced a renaissance. Proudly now a multi-layered paradise of Barossa wine, food & art, the estate attracts over 2,000 visitors each week.
Judges’ Comments: Seppeltsfield offers an outstanding “world-class” visitor experience. While wine is at the heart, the broader experience allows for greater levels of engagement and is a destination in its own right.

About the Great Wine Capitals Global Network

Founded in 1999, the Great Wine Capitals Global Network is an alliance of eight internationally renowned wine regions – Adelaide, South Australia; Bordeaux, France; Cape Town, South Africa; Mainz|Rheinhessen, Germany; Mendoza, Argentina; Porto, Portugal; Bilbao|Rioja, Spain and San Francisco|Napa Valley, USA. The Best Of Wine Tourism awards are an industry benchmark for excellence, recognising 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.