New cel­lar door comes up ap­ples

Sunday Mail - - NEWS NEWS - BRAD CROUCH

A DIS­USED 1920s ap­ple cold store re­born as a cosy cel­lar door tast­ing room has its open­ing party next Saturday thanks to grants pour­ing new life into win­ery ven­tures across the state.

Ochre Na­tion at Gumer­acha of­fers wines un­der its Unico Zelo la­bel as well as the co-op­er­a­tive Har­vest la­bel, plus its own gin and whisky which use na­tive in­gre­di­ents un­der the Ap­ple­wood la­bel.

Vis­i­tors can take tours of the dis­tillery and win­ery in an op­er­a­tion that goes from grape to bot­tle on site. The own­ers were keen to open it to vis­i­tors but the chal­lenge of cre­at­ing a cel­lar door that re­flected their phi­los­o­phy of em­brac­ing Aus­tralian life­style and cul­ture was a hur­dle. Ochre Na­tion’s “chief thinker” Bren­dan Carter suc­cess­fully ap­plied for a State Govern­ment Cel­lar Door Grant last year and the max­i­mum $25,000 fund­ing kick­started the trans­for­ma­tion.

“We could not have done it with­out the grant, the tim­ing was per­fect,” he said. “Tak­ing a 1920s dis­used ap­ple cold store and turn­ing it into some­thing warm and wel­com­ing takes a lot of ef­fort, and the grant put us on the front foot.”

The lat­est round of Cel­lar Door Grants an­nounced to­day will share $1.2 mil­lion be­tween 55 winer­ies across the state to help them up­grade and di­ver­sify their cel­lar doors. Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Leon Bignell said the grants would fur­ther ce­ment Ade­laide’s po­si­tion as a Great Wine Cap­i­tal.

“Many of the projects funded through the grants pro­grams have added sig­nif­i­cant value to the tra­di­tional cel­lar door ex­pe­ri­ences – pro­vid­ing vis­i­tors with a broader wine tourism of­fer­ing, such as ed­u­ca­tional wine classes, cafe and res­tau­rant fa­cil­i­ties or out­door walk­ing trails,” he said.

CORE PROJECT: Ochre Na­tion’s Bren­dan and Laura Carter at their new cel­lar door, made from a con­verted ap­ple store.

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