Being a wine tour guide you get a little bit excited when great new cellar doors pop up in the regions you visit. Here’s a run-down of the best new cellar doors that have opened up recently in the Adelaide Hills, Barossa Valley, and McLaren Vale wine regions.
Tapanappa Winery – Adelaide Hills
Having taken some fifteen years to fully come into fruition, Tapanappa is the shared vision of legendary locals Brian and Ann Croser working closely with Bollinger of Champagne and the Cazes family of Pauillac, Bordeaux.
Brian is a tour de force in Australia’s wine scene, having pioneered the Adelaide Hills wine region by planting Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and consequently starting Petaluma Winery in the 70’s. Among his many accolades and monikers he was made “Man of the Year” by Decanter Magazine in 2004. Basically, the guy knows a thing or two about wine.
Since 2001 Brian has invested his efforts in improving vineyard design and structure across Tapanappa’s three sites in South Australia, with the express intent to produce wines that rival the best fine wines in the world. The renowned Tiers Vineyard on the Croser family property in Piccadilly mirrors conditions in the Cotes de Beaune and produces highly prized parcels of Chardonnay; the Whalebone Vineyard in Wrattonbully features Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon, grown in terra-rossa soils on a bed of 35 million year old cracked limestone; and the Foggy Hill Vineyard in the newly pioneered Parawa region (half-way between Victor Harbor and Cape Jervois) houses their Pinot Noir.
December 2014 saw the return of the Piccadilly winery into the hands of the Croser family, after being on extended lease to Petaluma. Following extensive refurbishment and renovation Tapanappa finally has a place to call home. The winery and cellar door is located just 25 minutes from Adelaide at the Tiers Vineyard in the Piccadilly Valley. You can find their full range of premium wines open for tasting in a picturesque setting overlooking the vineyard.
Tapanappa Winery & Cellar Door
15 Spring Gully Road, Piccadilly, South Australia
Open 11am – 4pm, Thursday to Monday
Closed New Year’s Day, Easter weekend, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day
Small Batch Wine Tours offers visits to Tapanappa on their flagship wine tour of the Adelaide Hills.
Izway Wines – Barossa Valley
Izway Wines is the brainchild of mates Craig Isbel and Brian Conway, who conceived the idea of starting a winery in the Barossa during a vintage at Chateau de Bluizard, Beaujolais back in 2002.
From the first vintage which produced only 300 bottles, Izway has grown organically (and slowly) since 2003 to the point where they have only just opened up their new cellar door in late February 2016. Being a small business Izway was built from the ground up, with the lads doing everything from project managing and building the winery/cellar door, working the vineyards, and producing the wines – all the while Craig was Senior Winemaker at Barossa heavyweight Torbreck!
“Our wine making is simple and minimalistic, based on old world, hands on techniques. We limit our acid additions as much as possible, rarely use nutrient, never use tannin or any other additions and we never fine or filter our wines. We also use some whole bunch winemaking with Grenache and Mataro and only destem (we don’t crush) our Shiraz. We both love the purity and energy of natural wines and these are the styles that we are emulating.”
At the Izway cellar you can try their entire range of wines which tend toward the natural wine making mantra, however Craig doesn’t like to pigeon-hole his wines. The range includes Aglianico, Grenache, Mataro, and Shiraz, with some of the vines being more than 100 years old, yet the style in which they are produced results in pretty, medium bodied wines quite unlike what you would normally find coming out of the Barossa. It’s a refreshing change of pace – one that is warmly welcomed and highly recommended.
Izway Winery & Cellar Door
Corner Seppeltsfield & Hempel Rd, Seppeltsfield, South Australia
Open Saturday/Sunday 12-5pm
+ Thursday/Friday during March & April or by appointment
Small Batch Wine Tours offers visits to Izway Wines on their flagship private wine tour of the Barossa Valley..
The Confessional – McLaren Flat
Nestled in the corner of a McLaren Vale vineyard with the winemaking facility situated out the back, The Confessional Boutique Wine Revelations is definitely the most exciting new place to have opened its’ doors in McLaren Vale of late. Winemaker friends Adam Hooper and Andrew Pieri are the main driving forces behind The Confessional, and along with other friends Mitch and Declan, they help produce a variety of labels on offer at this unique cellar door.
Having been through various iterations the property was once the den of winemakers – a maze of open fermenters, wine stained floors, the rafters oozing with the passion and hard work of local winemakers. Now, The Confessional is the place to visit if you are looking to pause, reflect, and indulge your senses. Trying to focus on fun and education at the same time, you will often find the lads running evening soirees with music, movies, tapas, etc alongside their daytime staple offerings of wine tastings, and wine and food matched flights.
With a host of wines on rotation including Kangaroo Island Semillon and Malbec, Adelaide Hills Chardonnay and Gruner Veltliner, McLaren Vale Shiraz and Grenache, and even Ripasso and Amarone style wines, there is always something new and interesting to try. The food matched flights are always a winner, with three different flights on offer depending on your palate, they are highly recommended!
The Confessional Boutique Wine Revelations
Corner Kangarilla Rd & Foggo Rd, McLaren Flat, South Australia
Open Thursday – Sunday 11-4pm
Closed: Good Friday, Christmas Day & New Year’s Day
About the author:
Matthew Kurko is a WSET trained wine lover and passionate tour guide in the Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale, and Barossa Valley wine regions. He owns and operates boutique wine tour business Small Batch Wine Tours.
To visit the regions and find out more about the hidden gems of South Australia’s premier wines: