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Sunday 6 December 2020

Back from the black: new cellar door for Adelaide Hills.

Twelve months ago winemaker Simon Tolley (below) was one of many victims of the ferocious Cudlee Creek fire in the Adelaide Hills.

In January 2021, Simon Tolley Wines will open their new Woodside cellar door.

Simon and his viticultural team, spent December 20 fighting spot fires, relocating livestock, and supporting their neighbours as best they could.

"I tried to send the team home, but they wouldn’t leave," he recalls. "They stayed to help us save our family home and as much of the vineyard as we could."

The fire tore through 90% of the property, damaging fences, irrigation, vineyard trellising, destroying 30% of the vines and rendering the 2020 vintage unsaleable due to the effects of smoke taint.

A tremendous amount of recovery work has been undertaken over the last twelve months.

"It has been a monumental effort," Tolley said. "Across two of the most damaged vineyards we have pulled and replanted 3,500 vines, along with cutting back around 5,000 vines that are currently showing great signs of vigour."

Despite the challenges of the previous year, Simon and Narelle Tolley have been busy executing their long-held ambition to create a home for their wine brand.

Nestled among the beautiful hills of Woodside, Simon Tolley Wines will open the cellar door adjacent their award-winning luxury accommodation Simon Tolley Lodge.

Initially, the cellar door will be open Thursday and Friday (11am-5pm) and Saturday and Sunday by appointment.

"We wanted to create a home for our wines, a space where people can relax and enjoy wine in the same way we like to enjoy it; it’s really an extension of our own home’, says Narelle.

"People can come to our cellar door for a tasting or a glass of wine, stay for a while and chat to Simon and me about our wines and the viticulture, while looking out over the beautiful vineyards."

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