20, December 2021
A new face for 182-year-old McLaren Vale vineyard
“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,” says 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. The family have done a stellar job making sure to blend the old with the new, using numerous local trades led by builder Dean Wyly to bring their vision to life. Guests are now greeted with a beautiful recycled red brick entrance plus a stunning expansive all-weather deck that makes you feel like you are sitting in the middle of their 110 Ha vineyard.
The fit out of the new cellar door was completed by Strathalbyn’s multi award winning Spacecraft Joinery. The stunning 10m long tasting bench is a work of art, featuring sumptuous 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.” enthuses Spacecraft designer and owner Nathan Wundersitz. “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 was thrilled to have their redevelopment project receive a grant from the South Australian Tourism Commission’s Tourism Industry Development Fund. Finance manager and sixth generation family member Sam Oliver notes, “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.”
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. Corrina, Sam and Brioni sum up their efforts saying, “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.”