It all began when a group of medicos decided to realise a lifelong passion - creating a wine from bare earth and sunshine. The earth was found at McLaren Vale, one of South Australia's premier wine regions, renowned worldwide for its Shiraz and other red wines. The sunshine was free.Between them and their families Fox Creek Wines was born and they could not have even guessed what a success their venture would be.When Jim and Helen Watts bought the 32 hectare Fox Creek Vineyard property in 1984, they were advised against planting vines as the soils were heavy clay. The property had previously been used for growing barley and grazing sheep. Undeterred by the sceptics, they selected and planted fine quality cuttings and nurtured the young vines. Their labours bore fruit - extraordinary good quality fruit - that was lovingly converted into supreme quality wines. Under the skilled guidance of the winemakers, the wines came to life!Leader of the pack and the first wine made at Fox Creek was their 1994 Shiraz, which won the Trophy for the best wine at the McLaren Vale Wine Show in 1995. Success has continued and Fox Creek now markets single varietal wines from Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and blends of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (Duet), Shiraz and Cabernet Franc (JSM), Shiraz and Grenache and a sparkling Shiraz Cabernet Franc (Vixen). The white wines produced are Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Verdelho and a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.In the years since Fox Creek was established, many of these wines have been recognized by being awarded both Trophies and Gold Medals from National and Regional Wine Shows.In 2003, a new label in a lower price bracket was introduced by Fox Creek named 'Shadow's run' named after the vineyard Border Collie Shadow. The first wine released under this label was a 2001 Shiraz Cabernet, blended as a soft, full flavoured and spicy wine.The Red Baron Shiraz flew onto the shelves in 2006. It is Fox Creek Wines third Shiraz and has a rich soft entry which leads into a blend of red berry, cherry and plum fruits framed with smooth ripe tannins.The Cellar Door is open for tastings between 10am and 5pm seven days a week(except for Christmas Day). Visitors are also invited on a 'behind the scenes' winery tour free of charge by contacting the winery prior to their visit.
Located only 45 kilometres South of Adelaide, South Australia, Fox Creek is very close to the sea and in the heart of a beautiful fertile valley known as McLaren Vale.All vineyard staff at Fox Creek take pride in producing some of the best wine grapes in the McLaren Vale Region. The grapes are always full of flavour and make fine wines. The McLaren Vale Region has a Mediterranean style climate with a strong maritime influence and is frost-free as we are 7km from the sea. Annual rainfall is 600-700mm falling mainly in winter. It is an ideal location for growing grapes, with little disease pressure. Fox Creek has approximately 60 hectares of vines, all within a range of 5 kilometres, near the village of Willunga. We grow most common grape varieties but the red varieties are our specialty, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The white varieties we grow are Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Verdelho.There are many different soil types in our vineyards. About one half are black cracking clays full of organic matter which can develop deep cracks in summer. The rest are red sandy loams with rocks right through their profile. These soils are well drained and aerated. We manage the vineyard floor with a mix of cover cropping and permanent swards. Mulching the under-vine area is also carried out to improve the structure, fertility and microbiological diversity in soil. Cultivation is kept to a bare minimum to conserve soil structure.Our vineyard layout and trellis systems have been designed to best suit the specific needs of individual varieties. Most of our Shiraz is grown on a trellis system called Scott-Henry, and the vines are trained to two cordons. The shoots from the top cordon are lifted by a set of foliage wires while the bottom cordon shoots are down-turned. This system helps control the natural vigour of Shiraz while allowing maximum sunlight penetration and ventilation of the canopy. Most white varieties are grown on a Vertically Shoot Positioned trellis. This gives excellent fruit exposure and ventilation to reduce disease pressure, but enough shading to prevent sunburn damage to the bunches.With the use of weather stations and continuous monitoring of soil moisture, we have the ability to minimise stress in critical periods such as the time of flowering and to use controlled stress to dictate shoot size after fruitset. The outcome of this careful management is to make the most efficient use of limited underground water supplies. All our vineyards have drip irrigation although we attempt to dry-grow one Shiraz vineyard.All of our vineyards are hand pruned to control vigour. Hand pruning also controls cropping levels which are kept quite low, enabling us to produce small berries full of concentrated flavour and colour.Fox Creek has always protected and enhanced the areas surrounding the vineyards with plantings of indigenous native trees. These provide habitat, food and shelter for native birds. Our focus is to be environmentally friendly and only use sustainable practices if possible. We strive to minimise the use of any chemical or other artificial agents.
Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Verdelho, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Mourvedre
Fox Creek, Red Baron, Shadow's run, Vixen
One of the Best Wineries of the Region, James Halliday Wine Companion.The Reserve Shiraz received Excellent Classification in 2005 as one of the top 101 wines in all varieties available in Australia by Langton's Auction House.The Reserve Shiraz has received Trophy for the best wine at the McLaren Vale Wine Show three times and won Hyatt/Advertiser Wine of the Year Award in 2006.
>> McLaren Vale
Cellar Door Hours
The Cellar Door is open for tastings between 10am and 5pm seven days a week(except for Christmas Day).
Malpas Road, McLaren Vale
08 8557 0000
All Major Credit Cards, Cash and EFTPOS are accepted.