DOWIE DOOLE expands with major winery & vineyard acquisition
DOWIE DOOLE has been successful in its bid to purchase ‘Possums Wines’ in the premium McLaren Vale sub-region of Blewitt Springs. Comprising a 500 tonne winery and 34.6 hectare vineyard, ‘Possums Wines’ has been owned and skillfully managed by Dr John Possingham (AM) and Carol Summers since 1984. Dr Possingham is an expert in Viticulture and headed the CSIRO’s program of horticulture research for 30 years.
Possums Vineyard is located on Adams Road, Blewitt Springs – a coveted sub-region of McLaren Vale, where the cooler climate and deep sandy soils produce some of the region’s most premium fruit for wine production. The 34.6 hectare property is gently undulating with approximately 28.6 hectares under vine. The site is planted to premium red varieties including Shiraz, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec with Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Viognier making up the white varietal plantings. DOWIE DOOLE’s Chief Winemaker Chris Thomas welcomes the acquisition: “Viticulturally, the new Vineyard is very exciting as it offers a host of new varieties to play with and old vine Shiraz & Grenache, planted in 1955.” – Chris Thomas
The sale expands DOWIE DOOLE’s position as growers in McLaren Vale with Estate vineyard holdings set to nearly double from 35 to 63.6 hectares under vine. In addition to the Estate vineyards, fruit will continue to be sourced from the founders’ vineyards owned by the Dowie & Doole families. It is rather fitting that the Possums Vineyard is a neighbouring property to Lulu Lunn and the late Drew Dowie’s Tintookie Vineyard from which much of DOWIE DOOLE’s grapes are sourced, including the famous 85-year-old Chenin Blanc vines.
The vineyard expansion greatly increases DOWIE DOOLE’S access to cooler climate fruit from Blewitt Springs – notably Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon & Grenache. McLaren Vale’s growing reputation for producing Australia’s best Grenache makes this acquisition an extraordinary opportunity and a very exciting prospect for the Halliday 5-star winery.
Renowned Viticulturist Dave Gartelmann will oversee management of the Possums Vineyard along with the entire suite of DOWIE DOOLE Estate & Founders’ vineyards.
A 500 tonne capacity winery, featuring modern winemaking equipment was built on-site in 2004, and is included in the sale. DOWIE DOOLE Chief Winemaker Chris Thomas is eager to take over the winery, stating; “The sale has come at the perfect time ahead of Vintage 2019. This new facility will bring the entirety of DOWIE DOOLE’s production under one roof”.
Possums winery is an advanced facility with state-of-the-art winery plant & equipment, storage, offices, laboratory and climate-controlled barrel store. The winery purchase will enable DOWIE DOOLE to have complete control over the winemaking process from grape growing through to bottling.
The acquisition not only includes a winery and considerable growth in vineyard holdings, but several wine brands including Possums Vineyards Range, Possingham & Summers Estate Range, and Dr Johns Single Vineyard Range. DOWIE DOOLE will carry on producing wines under the Possums brands: “We will continue Dr John Possingham’s legacy of producing premium quality wines at exceptional value. The Possums suite of brands will find a home in our portfolio moving forward” said Chris.
A new Cellar Door is currently under construction at DOWIE DOOLE’s Tatachilla Vineyard located on California Road, McLaren Vale. Despite the acquisition of Possums Wines, there will be no change to the proposed location of the newly designed Cellar Door which is expected to launch early 2019.