The Fox Creek story began when a small group of doctors and their wives decided to pursue a lifelong passion – creating wine from bare earth and sunshine. The earth was found at McLaren Vale, one of South Australia’s premier wine regions, globally renowned for its Shiraz. The sunshine was free.
Between them and their families Fox Creek Wines was born and what a success their venture has been!
When Jim and Helen Watts bought the 32 hectare Fox Creek Vineyard property in 1984, they were advised against planting vines in the black clay soils that had previously been used for growing barley. Undeterred by the sceptics, they nurtured the young vines which bore fruit – exceptionally high quality fruit – and lovingly converted it into supreme quality wine!
As we believe wine is principally created in the vineyard, great care is given to the vines. Many of the vineyards are trellised to expose the grapes to sunshine and free movement of air which reduces susceptibility to disease. Our premium wines are sourced entirely from grapes grown in the McLaren Vale region and most of them from our own vineyards.
Fox Creek’s flagship wine was the 1994 Shiraz, which won the Trophy for the best wine at the McLaren Vale Wine Show in 1995. Fox Creek has subsequently won this award in 1998 and 2003 and successive vintages of this wine, now called the Reserve Shiraz, have achieved international acclaim. As Fox Creek’s success continues, many of the wines have been recognised with trophies and medals from national and international shows. The range of wines made by Fox Creek has gradually increased to seventeen.
In 1996, our Cellar Door was opened in a nineteenth century stone cottage built by the Malpas family in the 1880’s. It is located only 45 kilometers South of Adelaide, South Australia and is surrounded by beautiful grounds with a lake, water birds, ancient large eucalypt and olive trees adjacent to the bridge which crosses ‘Fox Creek’ on the way to the historic cottage.
In early 2000, construction of a 1,500 tonne capacity winery was completed. The decision to install stainless steel open fermenters rather than rotary fermenters was made due to the quality benefits this traditional method offers. The winery has a maximum storage capacity of 600,000 litres. This includes a range of small storage tanks to support the “boutique” winemaking approach the company has adopted.
In 2005, Scott Zrna joined the company as senior winemaker. Formerly senior winemaker for McWilliams, Scott brought with him a bounty of creativity and experience, which allowed Fox Creek’s wine to continue to develop and progress from strength to strength.
Fox Creek is an active supporter of the arts and has been the official wine sponsor of one of Adelaide’s major festivals, The Adelaide International Guitar Festival since 2007. In mid 2009, Fox Creek put key product information in braille and large print on the back labels of our wines to assist the visually impaired. Fox Creek also supports many other cultural events and since 2002, has supplied the wine for book launches by Wakefield Press, Adelaide’s longest standing independent publishing and distribution company.