Wirra Wirra and St Hugo now offering Ultimate Winery Experiences
You can now enjoy behind the scenes experiences at two of South Australia’s oldest wineries, Wirra Wirra in McLaren Vale and St Hugo in the Barossa. These two highly regarded wineries have joined Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia, a collection of award-winning wineries offering guests the opportunity to go behind the scenes of the wonderful world of Australian winemaking. With Wirra Wirra and St Hugo being added to the stable, that makes the total of South Australian wineries in the collection to seven, with 19 wineries all up around Australia. Ultimate Winery Experiences was launched in 2013 to raise the profile of Australia as one of the world’s leading wine tourism destinations.
“We are seeing more and more people coming to Australia or travelling interstate to not only taste great wines but also immerse themselves in an experience that will take them beyond the cellar door and into a blending class or an exclusive session with the winemaker, a cooking class with matching wines or a scenic flight experience for example” said Sally Cope, Executive Officer, UWEA.
Those experiences are being realised in a variety of exciting ways at the two new member wineries. At St Hugo, the five experiences are focused on its new multi-million dollar development, the Home of St Hugo which comprises a private tasting room, cosy wine lounge and fine dining restaurant located within the ruins of William Jacob’s ironstone winery, built over 150 years ago. Guests can enjoy the Chef’s Table, a personally guided tour of the historic site and wine tasting followed by an eight-course menu priced at $300 per head. The Chef’s Table seats just six people and is an extension of the kitchen where guests can watch the chefs work and also interact with them discussing ingredients, techniques and food and wine philosophies.
For those looking to step up this up a little, choose from a range of bespoke luxury experiences. The Legacy experience includes a private helicopter flight over the Barossa Valley to the home of St Hugo, a journey inspired by Hugo Gramp’s legacy. The experience includes a tasting of some of the oldest vintages and special blends, a private tour of the estate and an eight course lunch created to perfectly match the St Hugo wines – priced at $5,000 per person. But for travellers wanting real bragging rights, the winery is offering an in-depth overnight Prestige experience from $15,000 per person or they can achieve Sainthood for $150,000. This is the ultimate in a wine tasting luxury experience. It includes a two-night stay in the Barossa, private luxury transfers and personalised sessions with the Head Chef, Mark McNamara. It also provides guests the opportunity to leave their mark in South Australia and name a row of vines before enjoying a blending session with Chief Winemaker, Dan Swincer. Their personal blend will be kept safe in St Hugo’s private vault for up to three years and will be delivered to them by a personal wine ambassador at a time of their choosing at an event for up to eight people.
Wirra Wirra is more of a tourism destination than a cellar door. Established in the late 1800s by South Australian cricketer and self-confessed larrikin, Robert Strangeways Wigley, the winery has undergone a recent $850,000 upgrade of its facilities and now has a provedore style café, meeting rooms and eight behind the scenes tours. The new experiences range from an opportunity to learn the characteristics of Cabernet, Grenache and Shiraz through a masterclass in Trott’s cellar for $50 through to the Signature Day Tour which includes a tour of this historic ironstone winery, Church Block blending session, flagship wine tasting, lunch of spectacular regional produce and ringing the Angelus bell – priced at $280 per person.