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World’s best wine tourism and Halliday five stars in year’s harvest

It is not quite the seminal moment Kimbolton Wines joint owner Nicole Clark imagined when she first learned her Grapes for Good project won a best in the world award in Argentina this month.

Nov 28, 2022, updated Nov 28, 2022
Kimbolton Wines adds a best in wine tourism world award to a swag of accolades. Photo: Supplied

Kimbolton Wines adds a best in wine tourism world award to a swag of accolades. Photo: Supplied

Just the Thursday night before, Clark was celebrating another huge win for the winery she owns with brother Brad Case in Langhorne Creek when it was named South Australia’s Best Tourism Winery, Distillery, Brewery for 2022.

“On the Friday I was contacted by media, we hadn’t been told anything and I asked my staff can I talk to them on Monday because I was feeling a little bit under the weather,” Clark says.

“Then I read my email and it mentioned a global award and I was thinking, has something happened?”

It turned out the project she initially started in 2021 with a Kimbolton Wines cabernet sauvignon raising funds for cheetah conservation at Zoos SA was named the 2023 Best of Wine Tourism global winner at a Great Wine Capitals conference.

Five other Langhorne Creek wineries are now part of the project that has raised more than $30,000 in a year to support Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park.

Quite the year for the winery that also found its 15 wines ranging from the region’s famed cabernet to shiraz and fiano winning a coveted dark horse award in the prestigious Halliday’s 2023 Wine Companion.

Kimbolton Wines made it into the ranks as a five-star entry for the first time with its shiraz and cabernet created by wine maker Greg Follett and alternates by Darryl Catlin being deemed worthy national contenders.

Now there is a new Rose Spritz in a can launched at the family-friendly cellar door that is also a finalist in the SALIFE Absolute Best Awards, Clark is overwhelmed by the accolades.

“I feel very humble to be among such iconic South Australian businesses and businesses that are a lot bigger than us,” she says.

The unique cellar door made from shipping containers was only opened 15 months when COVID shut it down, Clark saying “it’s etched in my memory, on Monday the 23rd of March we closed and reopened on the first of June, 2020”.

Staff were kept on thanks to JobKeeper and Clark says the decision was made to use the downtime to reinvigorate the cellar door and viewing deck with booked wine experiences and to create a family-friendly atmosphere.

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Tasting plates at Kimbolton Wines. From left: Chris and Nicole Clark, Anna and Brad Case. Photo: Supplied

Now the rooftop tastings feature Kimbolton Wines and local artisan cheeses along with having a tasting for children using South Australian created Bickford’s cordials and their own cheese and biscuits. There is also a view over the surrounding vineyards.

“We’ve also created a visual tasting note with our coasters,” Clark says.

“In the next 12 months we’ll just really consolidate what we are doing, we’re also looking at tapping into the cruise ship market and I have a lot of plans to build onto the cellar door with an outdoor undercover area.”

And there is still work to be done on continually growing the now world-recognised Grapes for Good project that uses wine to highlight the plight of endangered animals while drawing visitors to the region.

Bleasdale, Bremerton, Lake Breeze, The Winehouse, and Vineyard Road have created a trail with Kimbolton Wines where each winery donates part proceeds of a limited-edition wine to conservation work for a different threatened species through Zoos SA.

Each bottle featuring artwork showing the threatened species supports animals including the cheetah, ring-tailed lemur, plains zebra and the giraffe.

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