Located between the popular beach-resort towns of Robe and Beachport, the 5,000 acre family-owned Woodsoak Farm, a cattle and sheep grazing property by trade, has been producing its own range of boutique premium wines since 2010.
Run by husband and wife team, Will and Sonia, the pair named three of their first four releases after their children — you can try the Rani Rose, Raj Shiraz and Vijay Cab Sav — and Sonia’s Indian heritage continues to be front and centre on their entire range.
This now includes the award-winning Zaahira Sparkling, which translates to ‘shiny’ and ‘luminous’ in Hindi and the Pyaar Pinot Noir, which means ‘Love.’
Even the brand’s peacock emblem is the national bird of India.
“The Woodsoak property has been in my husband’s family for seventy years,” Sonia explains.
“In 1998, we planted the vineyard and started selling the grapes on contract to local wineries. Then in 2010, we launched our own label, starting with four, and have slowly expanded the range to ten from there.”
Calling herself the 5 foot nothing ‘Bollywood Wife’ to her 6 foot 5 Aussie farmer husband Will, Sonia says that they decided to build their own cellar door in 2018, renovating the historic Evans Cottage on the main street of Robe.
“After doing a number of pop-ups at various festivals we decided to take the plunge and bought a property on the main street of Robe in 2018.”
Since then the location has become a drawcard to locals and travellers alike, offering Samosa and mango-chutney platters alongside their boutique cool-climate wines from their ‘quirky’ outdoor wine room.
Family-friendly, games like giant Jenga are often part of the fun, as well as their Indian bar on wheels, a feature which never fails to grab people’s attention.
“Often people drive past and wonder ‘what’s going on there,’” says Sonia.
“It’s such a good atmosphere, so before they even knew they wanted to try some wine, they’ve pulled up and are taking a few bottles home.”
They also encourage their customers to BYO food, whether it be fish and chips from across the road, or a chilli-cheese kransky from the nearby bakery, enhancing the community-vibe.
Forced to close down because of COVID in April, usually their busiest month along with January, Sonia says the response since has more than made up for the downturn.
Normally closed during August, they’ve remained open during some unseasonally good winter weather, with numbers on par with normal summer trading.
“South Australians are amazing,” she says.
“We’ve been so well supported by this community that we’ve stayed open throughout and we can’t thank our regulars enough.”
Covid-dependant, Sonia says their annual event, ‘Sparkling & Samosas’ which is usually held at the beginning of December, will be their way of thanking the people of Robe for their support.
“It’s a chance for us to thank our locals before the peak of the summer season,” she says.
“We normally hold it at the bowling club and it’s a great chance to get the community together in one place to drink sparkling shiraz and eat Samosas. It’s usually a great day and we encourage everyone to come.”
For more information on Woodsoak Wines visit their Facebook page here.
The cellar door is located at 20 Victoria Street, Robe and is open everyday between 11am-5pm.