Fox Creek Wines was born out of passion, opportunity and hard work; today it is recognised as one of McLaren Vale’s most premium and highly awarded wineries.
Dr. Jim Watts, a specialist and professor of surgery and his wife, Helen, a registered nurse, began the Fox Creek story in 1984. They purchased a 32-hectare farming property in McLaren Vale and went about planting vines on the black clay soils. The vines thrived, bearing exceptionally high quality and sought-after fruit that was sold to wineries within the region. Ten years later, the family retained a parcel of fruit, which they lovingly crafted into quality wine. The transition from growers to winemakers began and with that Fox Creek Wines was born.
The first wine to be made under the Fox Creek label was the 1994 Shiraz, now known as Reserve Shiraz, Fox Creek’s flagship and the pinnacle of the winery’s portfolio. The quality of the Reserve Shiraz is evident through its numerous awards plus a Langton’s Classification for Excellence.
Fox Creek has accomplished much since its inception, including the prestigious Bushing King Trophy for the best wine at the McLaren Vale Wine Show on three occasions: in 1995 for the first release of Reserve, 1998 for the JSM Shiraz-Cabernet blend and in 2003 for the Short Row Shiraz. The winery has also been awarded 14 trophies and 55 gold medals since 2004, along with three consecutive 5 Red Star ratings from James Halliday.
In 1996 the Cellar Door was opened in the property’s historic 19th-century stone cottage. Guests are invited to visit the Cellar Door year round to taste the portfolio of wines and peruse the bimonthly art exhibitions.
Fox Creek also offers regional platters that showcase the fabulous local produce, complimented by picturesque scenery and blossoming garden surrounds. The Cellar Door offers children the excitement of a free treasure hunt and a variety of music and community events are held in the Cellar Door gardens throughout the warmer months.
Fox Creek also holds a purpose built barrel hall, stocked with more than 1800 French and American oak barrels, sourced from 14 different coppers, which can be viewed by appointment. This is testimony to Senior Winemaker, Scott Zrna’s, bespoke barrel program that he has established and maintained throughout his decade long tenure with the winery.
Specific vineyard parcels are matured in a range of oak barrels where the forest origin, toast level and size have been selected to best match the flavour profile of the wine. Frequent tasting during maturation in barrel ensures the focus on wine quality and completes Fox Creek’s ‘vineyard to glass’ hands-on winemaking approach.
There is also the opportunity to join up to the Fox Creek Circle, a dedicated club for wine enthusiasts that provides special pricing across the range plus a range of wines made exclusively for members. Fox Creek also hosts free behind-the-scenes winery tours followed by Cellar Door tastings, which are held every Monday and Friday from 10.30am. Bookings essential via the website.