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Designer tasting experience in the Vale

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McLaren Vale-based Beresford Wines has opened a new Tasting Pavilion blending modern design features and what it describes as a “concierge-style” service.

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The new facility, designed by architect Alexander Brown and design firm Enoki, opened in December and reflects a trend towards more contemporary cellar-door experiences being offered in the region.

It features a minimalist and refined design incorporating Australian and Italian materials, with a focal point being the specially designed rectangular tasting bench. Indoor and outdoor tasting areas overlook the surrounding McLaren Flat estate.

Beresford Wines marketing manager Chris Illman says the building was designed to reflect the brand’s revitalised approach following its takeover by Vok Beverages, a sister company of South Australian beverage manufacturer Bickford’s.


Much of the furniture used in the Beresford Tasting Pavilion is crafted from local timber. Photo: supplied

“It’s a combination of elegance and style.

“We’ve looked to emphasise our product, given the McLaren Vale region is highly regarded worldwide as a premium wine region.”

The “concierge-style” tasting experience, starting at $15 per person, is described as a “fine dining experience” and includes the option of three tiers of wine from the Estate, Classic and Bell Tower ranges. Each wine is matched with local, seasonal produce.

Established in 1985, Beresford Wines sources grapes from McLaren Flat and Langhorne Creek, and produces wines under chief winemaker Chris Dix.

Vok Beverages took over Beresford almost four years ago, alongside Step Road Winery in Langhorne Creek, where Dix is also chief winemaker.

The Tasting Pavilion features solid oak, poured concrete and copper cladding, and was designed to reflect the wines and the local area.

“We used both quality Italian and local materials to connect our product with the local environment,” Illman says.

“We actually integrated newly planted vines both on the eastern and western side of the facility to again integrate the core offer of what we do.”

The building has different spaces designed to accommodate visitors throughout the year.

“Given the conditions down at McLaren Vale are quite warm in summer, we open the doors and allow the consumers to wander out and enjoy the atmosphere outside,” Illman says

“In winter, we have a wood fire going and people can hop around that and enjoy a glass of red.”


A monochrome palette highlights the timber design features including the purpose-built tasting bench. Photo: supplied

Illman says the public response to the building has been positive.

“We did a lot of things differently – you only have to look at the construction of the building, the premium fixtures and fittings, a design which integrates nicely into the surrounding area.

“Everyone who comes through the place likes our proposition and loves what we’re doing.”

The Tasting Pavilion is one of only a few places where Beresford’s Estate wines are available for purchase. Located on Belwitt Springs Road at McLaren Flat, it is open for casual visits between 10am and 5pm Wednesday to Sunday, and private functions on Mondays and Tuesdays.


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