Iconic McLaren Vale winery, Fox Creek Wines has been purchased by long-time mates and industry colleagues, Ben Gibson, Jock Harvey and Dim Georgiadis (pictured above).
Ben has held a broad cross section of wine industry roles over the last 20 years, including various Director positions at Pernod Ricard and more recently CEO of Clare Valley winery, Kirrihill Wines. Jock, a wine industry stalwart, is best known as proprietor of Chalk Hill Viticulture and Dim, whose background is in law, is a founder and Director of Business Development for the FABAL group of companies that specialise in large scale agri-business and vineyard management.
The three mates will pool their collective experience to embark on the next journey for Fox Creek Wines.
All three share a love of high-quality Shiraz, Grenache and alternative varietals along with a passion for the McLaren Vale region, the wines, the food, the environment and the local community.
Fox Creek was established in 1984 by Helen and Dr. Jim Watts following the purchase of the property on Malpas Road in McLaren Vale. Fox Creek has won numerous domestic and international wine awards, along with being recognised by James Halliday as a 5 Star rated winery. Its flagship wine, the Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz is recognised in the “outstanding” category of the coveted Langton’s wine classification system.
While standing on the dam wall during a site visit, Gibson, who will assume the role of CEO, said that they quickly realised the hidden gem that is Fox Creek Wines with its rich soils, 1,200 tonne winery, 20hectares of premium vineyards and historic cellar door – all within the 46hectare property.
“In spite of the hardships the wine industry has faced in the current climate and pandemic, Jock, Dim and I immediately saw the value in investing in such an iconic wine brand in McLaren Vale”.
McLaren Vale’s unique combination of world class wines and produce with a beach lifestyle, ensures that the region truly offers a unique, welcoming experience.
“With Fox Creek located so close to our hometown of Willunga, Jock and I could not be happier to be reunited. In partnership with our great friend Dim, we embark on what will be an exciting new chapter for Fox Creek Wines”, Gibson said.
“We have a shared passion for the local community, which will sit foremost at the heart of the Fox Creek Wines philosophy,” he added.
Whilst it’s ‘business as usual’ for Fox Creek Wines, there are plans to undertake new vineyard plantings, enhancements to the brand, investment in the cellar door and new precinct experiences; including a greater expression of landscape underpinned by biodiversity & ecology. “Our immediate focus will be welcoming the employees of Fox Creek, planning the highly anticipated 2021 Vintage, meeting with our grape growers, contract processing partners, customers and loyal “Circle” wine club members.
Helen Watts, the co-founder and current owner of Fox Creek said “as I recently celebrated my 86th birthday I decided it was time to find the right people to take Fox Creek onward and upward into the future. I am confident we have done this.”
Langley and Co were the advisor to the sale for the Watts’ family. “I would like to thank the Watts Family, the Fox Creek Board and Langley & Co Director Stephen Strachan for their commitment to achieving the sale. We are indebted greatly to the Watts’ family for the legacy that they have created and look forward to writing the next exciting chapter for Fox Creek Wines”, Gibson said.
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