Four shipping containers sit amongst the vines – this is Dowie Doole’s cellar door

Amidst the vineyards, just off California Road in McLaren Vale, four shipping containers sit, making Dowie Doole proprietor of one of McLaren Vale’s coolest cellar doors.

Photos by JKTP

In the spring of 2019, a long term project finally came to fruition in McLaren Vale.

Dowie Doole, coming off the high of a huge win at the Royal Adelaide Wine Show in October (best Rosé amongst more than a hundred is no easy feat) also celebrated the opening of their highly anticipated cellar door.

Amidst the vineyards, just off California Road in McLaren Vale, four shipping containers sit, creating one of McLaren Vale’s coolest cellar doors.

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

Even when construction had begun, it was very evident that the fit out was 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 the final product 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 who 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 endeavoured to turn an empty disused place into something beautiful. The cellar door is located on an empty slot in the vineyards, where instead of cutting things down to make space, the addition improves what was already in existence.

For visitors wanting to experience the unique space, wine flights and tastings are offered at the cellar door.

The tasting flight gives guests an immersive experience tasting wines throughout their portfolio, from the Estate Range through to their Reserve Range, and also cellar door exclusive wines. With multiple flight options from curated ones to build-your-own, you will find something you enjoy.

A regional build you own platter is available, and the Dowie Doole staff can recommend other places to eat, should you require something more substantial.

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

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