Everyone likes a good real estate story and this is ours. When Zac our son came along we were stuck for room out at the farm in Eden Valley. We had always intended extending the cottage we had built out there but when it came to the crunch, looming uncertainty in the wine industry and within our catchment area mean’t we didn’t have the confidence to go ahead.
As an alternative we decided to buy a house in the town as a stopgap measure. We then came across our present location in Angaston. This pretty town on the eastern boundary of the Barossa floor has always been my favourite Barossa town and luckily at that time the real estate gods hadn’t caught up. Within 3 months they had. It is an amazing thing to see a market move dramatically in a short space of time. Our place had been on the market for 18 months before we were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Within a couple of months houses were selling within 2 weeks of being listed.
Now some five years later we are hoping that a cellar door in the town is just what Angaston needs. Indeed a successful cellar door is just what our business needs. At this stage of the industry cycle some would say starting a label and opening a cellar door is brave or foolhardy activity. I don’t think I’ll ever try base jumping so this may be the next best thing.
Many of the people I really admire like Rob O’Callaghan and Charlie Melton started at a similar stage in the shortage /glut continuum that is the wine industry. This gives me faith that this is a good time to start. It is possible at the moment to find old vine Barossa fruit at reasonable prices. If you can help growers in the bad times and forge good relationships that will continue into times of shortage the stability of our business and our region will be improved. Lower market prices also mean that our own grapes are costed into the business lower and the savings passed on to the customer.
If we were to be starting without a cellar door and relying on retail sales I don’t think the business would be successful. The exposure the old bank provides will give a lot of people the chance to meet us, try our wines and get to know the story behind the brand.