August 30, 2023
Wine & Dine

SALIFE takes a look inside Taylors Wines’ new multi-million dollar cellar door

Clare Valley's largest wine producer has opened its luxury new cellar door which is poised to become a beacon for the region as the brand looks to build on its premium estate-grown wines while branching out into weddings and events.

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Clare Valley producer Taylors Wines has opened its new boutique cellar door, marking the first major upgrade to the winery’s hospitality offerings since the early 1970s.

Located at the gateway to the Clare Valley region, Taylors has moved its cellar door from inside the winery – famous for its large castle-like wall topped with parapets – and into new luxury buildings on the grounds in front of the winery.

The bespoke cellar door was created by local contractors GP Architects, Cook Building and Georgie Shepherd Interior Design.

A 90-minute drive from the Adelaide CBD, Taylors now welcomes guests with the brand’s seahorse logo emblazoned on limestone walls – a nod to the Taylor family’s discovery of fossilised seahorses in the limestone bedrock when they established the vineyards over 50 years ago.

Situated next to a restored farmhouse, the new spaces include a sleek main tasting room with fireplace, a courtyard, patio and Collector’s Club for members tasting events.

There is also an event pavilion for hosting functions and weddings without disrupting the normal trading of the cellar door.

Large windows and courtyards provide views to the surrounding vineyards, gum trees and open Clare Valley skies.

Taylors Wines company directors Justin Taylor, Clinton Taylor and Mitchell Taylor at the official opening of the Clare Valley cellar door. Photograph: Ben Kelly.

At an official opening event last week, Managing Director Mitchell Taylor spoke of his memories of when the winery was built on the site of a former dairy farm.

“My father Bill Taylor and Jim Barry spotted [the land] as a great property and it was the beautiful terra rosa soils that really attracted us to this region for quality red wine,” says Mitchell, who today operates the business from its Sydney headquarters alongside brothers Justin and Clinton.

The estate covers 750 hectares and has a focus on estate-produced wine. With a workforce of more than 90 staff, Taylors is one of the Clare Valley region’s largest employers.

“We really are fanatical about growing our estate wines. The beauty of this spot is that it all happens here – from growing the grapes, fermenting and even bottling them here, to consuming them on the site,” says Mitchell.

“As the business has grown and expanded, we’ve concentrated a lot of our energy into building our assets, building the barrel halls, building our vineyards.

“The cellar door has been almost 50 years in the making, since we opened our first cellar door in 1973.

“Originally our family was in hospitality, so this is a return to hospitality that the family started in all those years ago as hoteliers.

“It’s great to now have a cellar door that reflects the style of hospitality that we want to do for our customers.”

While the cellar door caters to local visitors and is available for functions and weddings, it will also serve as a showroom for Taylors’ international clients with an eye to growing the premium export market.

“We’re starting to see the travel pick up again and the sales of our high-end wines are picking up through the duty-free channel,” says Mitchell

“We now want them to come out of the airports and start to visit this destination. We’ve set up the cellar door for special occasions and catering to those overseas visitors.

“Our big exports are to the USA, Canada and the UK, while we do very well in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and also Thailand.

“We’re really excited about revisiting China, because we’ve been literally out of that market for three years.

“We’re hoping for a breakthrough later in the year.”

Mitchell notes that Clare Valley’s wide open landscapes, night skies and peaceful vistas never fail to wow overseas visitors.

“What is so fabulous about the area is the lovely big open spaces. We can now relax in front of these fireplaces and also enjoy the beautiful sculptures we have on the grounds.”

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