Author: Andrew Spence
One of the Adelaide Hills most recognisable wineries and cellar doors, Bird in Hand, is about to undergo a huge $30 million renovation.
The upgrade will include an exclusive 40-seat wine and culinary experience, art gallery, increased cellar door space, underground cellars, tasting rooms and landscaped gardens.
A development application has been lodged with Adelaide Hills Council and is out for public comment until July 12.
Bird in Hand is hoping its application will be approved in the coming months so construction can begin early next year.
Founded in 1997 on a former dairy farm near the 19th Century Bird in Hand gold mine site, the family-owned winery released its first vintages in 2001 and now produces close to 90,000 cases a year. Bird in Hand exports wine to about 15 countries including China, the United States, Canada, Germany and the UK.
Founder Andrew Nugent said the project was the next step towards the winery’s goal of becoming one of the world’s leading wineries and a pre- eminent international tourist destination showcasing elite South Australian wine, produce, art and culture.
“We intend to create a space of global, cultural and artistic paramountcy that helps secure our state and region as an imperative on the world wine and tourism map,” he said.
“That means not only increasing our ability to cater for growing demand but also shining light on the outstanding winemakers, food producers, artists and designers that we nurture here.”
Although sometimes overshadowed by the Barossa just to the north and McLaren Vale to the south, the Adelaide Hills has emerged as one of Australia’s leading cool-climate wine regions in recent years and is home to more than 100 wine producers.
The existing Bird in Hand winery features a cellar door, The Gallery restaurant, a smaller private dining and tasting room and a larger area suitable for concerts and formal functions.
The company expects the revamp will create up to 50 sustainable, long-term jobs for the local community and will cater for up to 400 additional visitors to the region every day – on top of the more than 20,000 who currently visit Bird in Hand annually.
Nugent said the project aimed to reciprocate the support Bird in Hand had received from South Australians and the Adelaide Hills community for so many years.
“It is a community we are so grateful to be a part of,” he said.
“The Adelaide Hills is a major part of South Australia’s $7 billion visitor economy, and we share the State Government’s vision to grow.
“Our family, together with the remarkably talented and dedicated team at Bird in Hand, feel very fortunate to be able to promote the elite artisan wines and produce of South Australia with the world from our Adelaide Hills home.”