We have it on good authority when we state that RedHeads Wine is organised chaos.
After chatting to Alex Trescowthick, the RedHeads operations manager, as he preps for the wineries impending cellar door launch, it becomes clear that it’s not just a cellar door, rather what they describe as a ‘village’.
“There’s a lot of cool things happening on-site, hence the name of the village,” Alex says.
He’s right; the cellar door joins the vineyards and the winery as three separate but collective pieces who are simultaneously being showcased as the cellar door opens this weekend.
Two years in the making, but RedHeads’ history spans further back than that.
“It’s owned by a family and we’ve always rented space at other wineries. We’ve owned our own equipment but we’ve been a bit like gypsies, sort of jumped around,” he says.
“Then it got to a point where the brand got a really good following, won a few awards, so the family decided they wanted to settle down and put their roots in the Barossa Valley.”
RedHeads wine is the Australian Winemaking arm of UK-Owned wine merchant, Direct Wines. Despite not having a huge following in South Australia has gathered a devout following.
“We purchased the property two years ago and the winery was the first thing we wanted to get going, and at the time we weren’t planning for a cellar door,” he says.
“But with that many people hunting us down and cold calling us, or just walking through the winery, wanting to do tastings, we realised that we need to get on with offering a space where we can look after our customers a lot better.”
The RedHeads site includes an old cottage, built in 1888, which was discovered in poor shape. The RedHead’s team employed the help of heritage builders to renovate it back to its former glory.
“There was this funny German Lutheran hall thing going on, we thought, ‘god it’s ugly but we can give this a facelift’, and turn it into a great space,” Alex says.
An implement shed behind the hall originally blocked out the vineyard views from the halls, however, after the removal of one side, it’s been transformed into an open bar.
“When it’s 40 degrees you wont want to be out there, but if its a typical day, there’s trees, there’s shade. It’s just a cool spot that overlooks the vineyards,” Alex says.
“We didn’t want to be a cellar door with people wearing white shirts who are regurgitating from a script, we wanted more of that bar feel. You can come in and chill or ask questions and dive deep into the wine.”
The team is relatively small, but a powerhouse group who have either studied wine making and have worked on vintages.
In following the regional bar theme, RedHead’s venture also includes the offer of beer.
Employing the help of a brewery down the road and prioritising local works, the RedHeads Aussie pale ale epitomises what the cellar door is doing.
Or as Alex says; it’s “always good to have a good beer on a hot day.”
RedHeads benefits off the support of the entire team being incredibly supportive on maintaining the ethos on which the whole brand has been built.
So much so that RedHeads stands as South Australia’s first commercial winery that is entirely off-grid station.
Due to the build and creation of the village being a huge overhaul, the focus on sustainability could take the forefront. Through solar panels and accompanying batteries, the winery is the power generating hub.
“We started from scratch, so from the power to the irrigation pumps, our treatment water, the cellar door, the cottage; it’s all off-grid.”
This theme follows through with the sourcing of fruit. Small-batch and from little growers, RedHeads’ practices ensure the fruit purchased is used to create individual wines.
The focus on premium wine starts from buying good fruit and carries on throughout the handling process, gentleness is key.
“There’s no point in us knocking out a generic sav blanc. [Our wine] has to be made with purpose, that’s why the grower story is so important. Our wines have to earn their existence; there’s no point in doing it for the sake of crushing fruit.”
Indeed, this practice is evident in the varieties that you can expect from RedHeads.
“Our brand is chaos, no two labels are the same and no two wines are the same,” Alex laughs.
Highlighting the varieties that can be grown very well in Australia, RedHeads have a five varietal Italian blend wine, a three varietal Spanish blend, a noteworthy Argentinian malbec-cabernet blend; which speaks to that ethos.
With designers from the UK (from RedHeads’ roots), to local designers, such as Erica Brady, creative director of Brady & Co. who has been integral in the evolution of their labels.
“Local is very important to us, the guys who do our labels are across the road, all the builders, everything we’ve done in the last couple of years with the winery, the cottage the reno, has been done with locals.”
To give back, Barossa residents can claim a 10% off all wine purchases for the month of November.
“It’s like neighbours rates, or mates rates, the community is what keeps us going.”
RedHeads Wine officially opened last weekend, ready to meet visitors who previously prowled through the vineyards to find them.
RedHeads Village Opening Hours:
Fridays 12pm ’til 7pm
Saturdays and Sundays 11am ’til 5pm
Find RedHeads Village at 258 Angaston Road Tanunda, SA.
More info at www.redheadswine.com.