Four Shipping Containers Sit Amidst The Vines – Dowie Doole’s Cellar Door Is Almost Here

Amidst the vineyards, just off Bayliss Road in McLaren Vale, four shipping containers sit, waiting for final touches before a launch that is on the horizon.


With an opening date in mid-November, a long term project is coming to fruition in McLaren Vale.

Dowie Doole, high on a huge win at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show last weekend (best Rosé amongst more than a hundred is no easy feat) is now looking forward to the opening of their highly anticipated cellar door.

Amidst the vineyards, just off California Road in McLaren Vale, four shipping containers sit, waiting for final touches before a launch that is on the horizon.

Dowie Doole’s cellar door has been in the works for a few years now, with director and winemaker Chris Thomas working closely with Oli Scholz of Scholz Vinall Design, to produce something that breathes sustainability.

Construction is ongoing but it’s becoming evident that the fit is extremely conducive with their ethos. Solar panels are fitted above the containers, rainwater tanks are outfitted alongside them.

Most interestingly, the cellar door is placed on stilts which means it doesn’t disturb the soil.

If it weren’t for the charging stations for electric cars, the cellar door wouldn’t need to be connected to the grid. That’s how sustainable we’re told it is.

Chris and Oli have been driving the sustainability focused mission but the way was paved with Dowie Doole founders, Norm Doole and Drew Dowie.

Norm and Drew’s coming together is similar to that of Chris and Oli. A winemaker and an architect which married their ideas on sustainable practices and how to implement them practically.

Norm was one of the founders of Willunga Basin Water; taking treated water from Christies Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant, they pump to to many growers of the McLaren Vale region.

Cheaper than bore water, the reclaimed water is used for drip irrigation of vines, fruit trees, nut crops and flowers.

It’s undoubtable that the cellar door has an intrinsic ethos surrounding sustainability. Even the location was chosen with that in mind.

The concept was to turn an empty disused place into something beautiful.

Located on an empty slot in the vineyards, instead of cutting things down to make space, the cellar door was always intended to improve things.

Once open, wine flights and tastings will take place directly at the cellar door. But it’s described as more than that, it’s an experience.

You’re to be amongst the vines, tasting the wines that what you see has produced.

While plans for food are up in the air, the team are open to offering that as time goes by.

Before they open the shipping container doors, you can find Dowie Doole Wines at the WineLab tasting event at MOD on October 18. More info here.

Stay tuned for opening info.

Dowie Doole can be found at 598 Bayliss Road, McLaren Vale, SA.

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