A new face for 182-year-old McLaren Vale vineyard

The Oliver family at the grand opening of the new cellar door at Oliver’s Taranga. Photo Sonya Logan

“It’s only taken us 182 years to look this good!” smiles sixth generation Corrina Wright, winemaker and director of family business Oliver’s Taranga Vineyards in McLaren Vale. The family’s cellar door has been situated in their tiny stone workers cottage built in the 1850’s by the first generation on the ‘Taranga’ vineyard.

“It has always been small,” said sixth generation operations manager Brioni Oliver.

“But with the growth in visitation to our region plus the advent of COVID, the cottage became really unworkable.”

Thus, they embarked on a gargantuan renovation project –attempting to blend the old with the new and using numerous local trades led by builder Dean Wyly to bring their vision to life. Guests are now greeted with a recycled red brick entrance plus an all-weather deck.

The fit out of the new cellar door was completed by Strathalbyn’s Spacecraft Joinery. The 10 metre long tasting bench features jarrah timber ribbing, curved elements, a stone bench top and brass touches.

“The brief, like the client, was unpretentious, with an intention to create a warm, cosy inviting space for all ages to enjoy,” Spacecraft designer and owner Nathan Wundersitz said.

“Given the longevity and multi-generational nature of Oliver’s Taranga, the design was intended to be timeless and meet the needs of the generations to come.”

The family said they were thrilled to have their redevelopment project receive a grant from the South Australian Tourism Commission’s Tourism Development Fund.

“The support of the SATC was huge in getting our project across the line, especially in the early days of the pandemic with substantial business uncertainty,” Finance manager and sixth generation family member Sam Oliver noted.

The original cottage has had an extensive facelift, converting the three rooms into on trend comfortable private tasting suites, all while respecting the historical integrity of the building. The family has introduced ‘Ollie’, the 6-seater golf cart to the team, taking guests on a ‘Taranga Terroir’ tour and tasting through the vineyard, ably hosted by their team.

The Olivers summed up their efforts.

“We decided as a family to ensure we had a good news story to come out of COVID, and we feel that we certainly delivered something to be really proud of. More importantly, we hope our guests will love what we have created,” they said.

Chief executive of the South Australian Tourism Commission Rodney Harrex attended the opening and congratulated the team on their efforts to revitalise the space.

“I think it’s amazing to see this level of investment in such challenging times. So congratulations,” he said.

“We are very excited about what the year ahead looks like in terms of getting people out and about in South Australia.

“It is this type of infrastructure. This type of experience that will get visitors out and about in regional South Australia.

“The domestic market, the interstate market is incredibly important to us; interstate visitors spend on average three times what South Australians spend so to see this type of quality experience is really crucial.”


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