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Wednesday 15 March 2017

New wine centre to be a showpiece for the Barossa

The Barossa, Australia's leading wine-producing region, has unveiled plans for a world-class cellar and function centre to store and showcase more than 2000 dozen bottles of the region’s wines.

The Barossa Cellar project aims to showcase many of the region’s best wines at their optimal drinking age to wine industry representatives, buyers and journalists.

While the need for such a facility has been discussed by regional winemakers for several years, the project has taken significant steps forward in recent weeks and could open as soon as March, 2018.

The $4.5 million project is being driven by the Barons of the Barossa, a strangely-dressed group of influential wine industry personalities from the region, and has recently secured a major tenant and council building approval to develop the 2.8 hectare site between the townships of Tanunda and Angaston.

The Barons bought the land last year and will contribute $1 million to the project. A fund-raising campaign to raise the remaining $3.5 million will be launched next month.

The Barossa, about 70km north of the South Australian capital Adelaide, is home to many of Australia’s most famous wine brands including Yalumba, Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Jacob’s Creek.

Barossa Cellar Committee Chairman and Barossa Baron James Wark said the lease agreement signed last month with the Barossa Grape and Wine Association (BGWA) would bring the building to life and ensure the wine in the cellar would be used to maximum effect.

Wark said having the collection all in one place for the first time – rather than in various cellars around the region – would allow for consistent cellaring in “pristine” conditions and improved cataloguing and access to the wine.

“We decided that while we wanted this wine cellar, we also wanted it to be a living place and not just something that was a dormant cellar,” he said.

“What I think we’re going to be able to do is to really promote the Barossa in a fantastic new way."

Australia was the world’s fifth largest wine-producing nation in 2016 behind Italy, France, Spain and the United States. South Australia is consistently responsible for about 50% of Australia’s total annual production and about 75% of the premium wine.

The Barons of Barossa formed in 1975 and built its collection from annual wine donations from local companies to store and use their best wines at functions for people who can benefit the region.

The collection of predominantly red wines has reached more than 2000 dozen and includes wines more than 20 years old from iconic Barossa wineries such as Henschke, Penfolds, Rockford, Yalumba, Greenock Creek, Peter Lehmann and Grant Burge.

Meanwhile, wine enthusiasts and collectors will have access to Barossa’s most exclusive and rare wines at the bi-annual Barossa Wine Chapters Auction next month.

Presented by BGWA and supported by Langton’s Fine Wines, wines will be auctioned online from April 7-21 and the live auction will be held at a special lunch event on Friday 21 April, 2017.

The auction will feature rare vertical collections of back vintages, as well as large format and special releases from 59 of Barossa’s most prestigious and distinguished wineries, with a total of 159 lots available online and an additional 30 lots available at the live auction. Lots are valued from $40 up to $54,000, with wine to appeal to everyone from casual wine drinkers to connoisseurs and investors.


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