It’s hard to find many negatives in last week’s announcement that Seppeltsfield – headed up by executive chairman Warren Randall – has purchased Quelltaler Estate at Watervale.
While it’s disappointing that some locals may now need to seek new employment as a result of the transaction with Treasury Wine Estates, the long-term benefits of seeing this historic property reinvigorated will no doubt have a flow-on of positive effects for the local wine and tourism industry.
One need only take a look at what Randall has achieved with the historic Seppeltsfield estate in the Barossa.
As he himself said, “it used to be the jewel of the Barossa Valley … that got a bit tarnished for awhile, we’ve polished her up and I think you’d now say she’s regarded that way again”.
Randall stepped in to a property and brand sorely in need of rejuvenation.
He did that, and the results speak for themselves.
Seppeltsfield has – and continues to – become a tourism hub in itself.
It is a key tourist destination and the flow-on economic impact to the region is noticeable.
Last year, it was named the best cellar door in the world by the Great Wine Capitals.
Randall aims to undertake a similar revitalisation of Quelltaler Estate and the Quelltaler wine brand, as well as of his previous acquisition, Ryecroft in McLaren Vale.
These are historic SA wine brands which deserve to be remembered and recognised.
They have just been waiting for someone with the drive – and, of course, capital – to make this happen.
If Quelltaler Estate is revived to something on par with Seppeltsfield, tourist traffic to the Clare Valley will no doubt increase.
Greater recognition – and demand – for the Clare Valley brand itself won’t be far behind.
Read more: Empire complete – for now