Friday 16 September 2011

A bright future is set in Stonehaven...

It's set in Stone; a bright future for this Haven in Padthaway

The winery at the very heart of the Padthaway wine region has been given a new lease on life.

The Stonehaven Winery, built in 1998 at a cost of more than $33 million, has been acquired by a family consortium from Melbourne. Built by BRL Hardy, no expense was spared but just 12 years on under the ownership of Accolade, Stonehaven sold for a fraction of its cost.

The sale was finally completed last month and the new family owned company now possess a 12,500 tonne winery, 35.9ha of vineyards on prime Padthaway soil, the region's most visible cellar door and the famed Stonehaven and Stepping Stone wine brands which will soon adorn the shelves in exciting new livery.

The state-of-the-art facility in the heart of the Limestone Coast wine region has been operating under the management of its new owners since early 2011, and some 8,000 tonnes were produced in the 2011 vintage destined for sale in both Australia and China initially.

Well known local winemaker Grant Semmens has been appointed as chief winemaker, who alongside respected fellow locals Ulrich Grey-Smith and Leisha Slattery aims to breathe new life into the Stonehaven brands while at the same time producing some exciting new ciders and beverages. The enormity of the facility will also allow Stonehaven Wines to provide an exceptional contract winemaking service to the region.

"Our philosophy is to employ the best people from the industry to lead Stonehaven into a new era, and I think the pedigree of our winemaking team alone confirms that. Our plan is to produce great quality wines that are at the very least exciting and showcase the region, and at the same time develop other beverage products that are extremely innovative and engage a new consumer" says Nikki Gilhome, Marketing Manager, Stonehaven Wines.

So, the future is bright for this Australian icon who has just signed a long term supply deal with a major liquor producer and distributor in Australia to produce a new range of fruit flavoured ciders which will be widely available in Australia this summer.

In the meantime keep your eyes out for the new look Stonehaven, which will also hit the shelves this summer.

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