McLaren Vale gin bar first step in creating ‘Seppeltsfield of the south’

Adelaide gin specialist Prohibition Liquor Co is opening its first regional tasting room, teaming up with The Randall Wine Group to create “the Seppeltsfield of the south” at its newly acquired Penny’s Hill winery in McLaren Vale.

Sep 16, 2022, updated Sep 16, 2022
Adam Carpenter and Wes Heddles are opening a Prohibition Liquor Co bar in McLaren Vale. Pic: supplied

Adam Carpenter and Wes Heddles are opening a Prohibition Liquor Co bar in McLaren Vale. Pic: supplied

The Randall Wine Group – owners of the iconic Seppeltsfield Estate in the Barossa – bought Penny’s Hill in April this year and executive chairman and proprietor Warren Randall said the group had ambitious plans to develop the picturesque site.

“We are thrilled to welcome our very first tourism business to Penny’s Hill in McLaren Vale – ‘Prohibition’, another wonderful 100 per cent owned South Australian-owned business,” Randall said.

“The opening of ‘Prohibition at Penny’s Hill’ is the first step in developing the estate into the equivalent of the Seppeltsfield of the south’.”

Adam Carpenter and Wes Heddles founded multi-award-winning Prohibition with its distillery and tasting room in Gilbert Street in late 2017, and now planned to open their new regional bar on the weekend.

Carpenter said plans were also underway for a fresh bar fit out and enclosed pergola area to open by Christmas, in the original 1855 coach house at Penny’s Hill.

“We weren’t actively looking to open a regional offering, but a move to McLaren Vale to be part of Penny’s Hill felt like a perfect fit for our brand,” he said.

Wine baron Randall said the vision was to evolve Penny’s Hill into a world-class tourism and wine destination with an Australian theme.

Randall strengthened his hold on McLaren Vale when he purchased the Penny’s Hill brand from former owners Tony and Susie Parkinson in a strategic move away from a challenging Chinese wine export market.

Penny’s Hill Estate.

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The sale included the Penny’s Hill cellar door between McLaren Vale and Willunga, 42 hectares of vineyards and the Penny’s Hill, Black Chook and Thomas Goss brands, which produce about 50,000 cases a year.

At the time of the sale, about 60 per cent of its wine was exported to 15 countries and Penny’s Hill wine had a foothold in North America, particularly Canada, with its distinctive “red dot” label.

Best known for its flagship Barossa winery Seppeltsfield Estate, the Randall Wine Group was established in 1978 and is Australia’s largest private vineyard holder with properties predominantly in the Barossa, McLaren Vale and Clare regions.

RWG is the largest vineyard holder in McLaren Vale with about 800ha under vine including three wineries, Tinlins, the Boar’s Rock bulk wine facility and the Ryecroft winery in McLaren Flat.

The latest venture follows RWG announcing earlier this month that it bought stormwater harvesting and re-use project Bunyip Water from the Light Regional Council in a bid to waterproof its Barossa vineyards from drought.

Seppeltsfield Wines first joined forces with the council with support from Federal Government funding to plan and build a 42km pipeline to harvest surplus winter stormwater flows from the Gawler River in 2014.

The first water was pumped north to irrigate Barossa Valley vineyards and provide water for ovals, parks and gardens in 2016.

Randall said it was “stunning example” of the capability of a successful public private partnership and meant surplus winter flows from the Gawler River were re-directed to agriculture rather than flowing out into the gulf.

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