McLaren Vale gin bar first step in creating ‘Seppeltsfield of the South’
The Randall Wine Group, owner of the iconic Seppeltsfield Estate in the Barossa, bought Penny’s Hill in April this year and executive chairman and owner Warren Randall said the group had ambitious plans to develop the scenic spot.
“We are delighted to welcome our first-ever tourism business to Penny’s Hill in McLaren Vale – ‘Prohibition’, another wonderful 100% South Australian-owned business,” said Randall.
“The opening of ‘Prohibition at Penny’s Hill’ is the first step in developing the estate into the equivalent of ‘Southern Seppeltsfield’.”
Adam Carpenter and Wes Heddles founded the multi-award-winning Prohibition with its distillery and tasting room in Gilbert Street in late 2017, and now planned to open their new regional weekend bar.
Carpenter said plans were also underway for a new bar layout and enclosed pergola to open by Christmas, in the original 1855 shed at Penny’s Hill.
“We weren’t actively looking to open up a regional offer, but a move to McLaren Vale to become part of Penny’s Hill seemed like a perfect fit for our brand,” he said.
Wine baron Randall said the vision was to make Penny’s Hill a world-class tourism and wine destination with an Australian theme.
Randall tightened his grip on McLaren Vale when he bought the Penny’s Hill brand from former owners Tony and Susie Parkinson as part of a strategic move to move away from a tough Chinese wine export market.
The sale included the Penny’s Hill cellar door between McLaren Vale and Willunga, 42 hectares of vines and the Penny’s Hill, Black Chook and Thomas Goss brands, which produce around 50,000 cases a year.
At the time of the sale, approximately 60% of its wine was exported to 15 countries and Penny’s Hill wine had a foothold in North America, particularly Canada, with its distinctive ‘red dot’ label.
Best known for its flagship Barossa vineyard, Seppeltsfield Estate, the Randall Wine Group was established in 1978 and is Australia’s largest private winery owner with holdings primarily in the Barossa, McLaren Vale and Clare regions.
RWG is the largest vineyard owner in McLaren Vale with approximately 800ha of vines comprising three wineries, Tinlins, Boar’s Rock Bulk Wine Factory and Ryecroft Winery in McLaren Flat.
The latest venture follows RWG’s announcement earlier this month that it had purchased the Bunyip Water stormwater harvesting and reuse project from the Light Regional Council with the aim of waterproofing its Barossa vineyards against the drought.
Seppeltsfield Wines first joined forces with the council with the support of federal government funding to plan and build a 42 km pipeline to harvest excess winter stormwater from the Gawler River in 2014.
The first water was pumped north to irrigate vineyards in the Barossa Valley and supply water to ovals, parks and gardens in 2016.
Randall said it was a ‘breathtaking example’ of the ability of a successful public-private partnership and that excess winter flows from the Gawler River were redirected to agriculture rather than flowing into the gulf.
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