GRAPES BY THE SEA

By 2013 Brian and Carolyn had done the ‘treechange’ and looked to change down to a more relaxing ‘wine & seachange’ lifestyle for their next chapter. They searched coastal Eastern Australia before discovering the majestic Limestone Coast of South Australia. In early 2015 Carolyn found a vineyard near the beach and here we are. In 2015 we established ‘Grapes By The Sea Pty Ltd’ and purchased the former Wehl’s Mount Benson Vineyard and Cellar Door on Wrights Bay Road, Mount Benson. The purchase included the Wehl’s businessname and all associated business branding.

BACKGROUND

The first vineyard pioneered in the Mount Benson Wine Region was the Wehl’s Mount Benson Vineyard, established in the late 1980’s by Bill Wehl, a retired lobster fisherman and his wife Margaret. The vineyard was expanded in the 90’s with the planting of shiraz vines. Situated just two kilometres inland from the current coastline of the scenic Wrights Bay, that 400,000 years ago was a shallow sea responsible for setting down the limestone sea floor which provides the base for the ‘terroir’ of the Limestone Coast and Mount Benson in particular. Over that limestone base our vineyard is blessed with around a metre of vibrant rich red “Terra Rossa” sands and wonderful fresh water below.

BACKGROUND

The first vineyard pioneered in the Mount Benson Wine Region was the Wehl’s Mount Benson Vineyard, established in the late 1980’s by Bill Wehl, a retired lobster fisherman and his wife Margaret. The vineyard was expanded in the 90’s with the planting of shiraz vines. Situated just two kilometres inland from the current coastline of the scenic Wrights Bay, that 400,000 years ago was a shallow sea responsible for setting down the limestone sea floor which provides the base for the ‘terroir’ of the Limestone Coast and Mount Benson in particular. Over that limestone base our vineyard is blessed with around a metre of vibrant rich red “Terra Rossa” sands and wonderful fresh water below.

LOCAL HISTORY

Early maritime records show the famous French explorer and cartographer Nicolas Baudin, in charge of the ships “Le Geographe” and “Naturaliste” (heading West) charting this area on the 7th April 1802 before meeting Matthew Flinders commanding the “Investigator”(heading East) in Encounter Bay on the 8th April 1802. Both Baudin and Flinders continued their expeditions and charting before taking an easterly passage along the Limestone Coast and sailing for Sydney Cove. Just offshore is the outcrop of rocks known as “Baudin’s Rocks” named by Matthew Flinders in honour of Baudin who first charted them. Mount Benson was named after one of the drovers on a historic cattle drive from Genoa in Gippsland Victoria to Adelaide in 1838.

OUR ENVIRONMENT

Wrights Bay opens to the Southern Ocean to the South and bears the bears the brunt of rugged winter climatic systems. Our vineyard is heavily influenced by this maritime environment that delivers a moderating influence to the long warm to mild summers that extend the ripening season and develop the delicate fruit driven flavours synonymous with great quality cool climate wines.

Boney Upwelling

OUR ENVIRONMENT

Wrights Bay opens to the Southern Ocean to the South and bears the bears the brunt of rugged winter climatic systems. Our vineyard is heavily influenced by this maritime environment that delivers amoderating influence to the long warm to mild summers that extend the ripening season and develop the delicate fruit driven flavours synonymous with great quality cool climate wines.

Boney Upwelling

OUR WINES

Mount Benson Estate wines are produced using small parcels of estate grown winegrapes only, hand crafted by local winemakers with minimal intervention. All wines spend time in French Oak of which up to 25% is new. Our Mount Benson Estate wines embody our beliefs in a relaxed lifestyle of living and enjoying the natural world. On release our wines are quite suitable for consuming at any time, but will reward careful cellaring if you can avoid the temptation to consume now.

Our Cellar Door

After purchasing the vineyard in 2015, we proceeded to undertake a complete restoration of the vines, vineyard and facilities. A new machinery shed with fully insulated wine storage section was built in early 2016 and in later that year work started on a new Cellar Door in a standalone building. The building consists of a large open plan room suitable for the display of artworks (painting, sculpture, textiles and ceramics), hosting of conferences, or a vineyard wedding. The Mount Benson Estate Cellar Door opened to the public in October 2017. The Cellar Door has wonderful views both north and west across our vineyard for our guests to stop and enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the Limestone Coast or take the short drive to the end of Wrights Bay Road to walk the shore of Wrights Bay and take in views that stretch to the Southern Ocean.

Brian & Carolyn

Our Cellar Door

After purchasing the vineyard in 2015, we proceeded to undertake a complete restoration of the vines, vineyard and facilities. A new machinery shed with fully insulated wine storage section was built in early 2016 and in later that year work started on a new Cellar Door in a standalone building. The building consists of a large open plan room suitable for the display of artworks (painting, sculpture, textiles and ceramics), hosting of conferences, or a vineyard wedding. The Mount Benson Estate Cellar Door opened to the public in October 2017. The Cellar Door has wonderful views both north and west across our vineyard for our guests to stop and enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the Limestone Coast or take the short drive to the end of Wrights Bay Road to walk the shore of Wrights Bay and take in views that stretch to the Southern Ocean.

Brian & Carolyn