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SA wineries see growing opportunity in on-site luxury hotels

South Australia’s first on-premises five-star wine hotel is underway.

A potential treasure chest could be on its way to opening for the South Australian wine tourism sector after Wirra Wirra Vineyard revealed plans for the first five-star hotel to be built on its premises in the McLaren Vale.

Developed in partnership with Adelaide-based firm Greaton Group, the region’s first on-premises luxury development will turn the Wirra Wirra vineyard into an integrated winery resort, paving the way for a wave of similar projects and a new string to the South Australian wine tourism bow.

To be situated on a 1.56-hectare parcel of land, the $30 million project will sit to the western side of the main vineyard, slightly elevated to maximise views over the property. At the time of announcement, approval has been granted for up to 42 rooms, however the specifics of the hotel design have not yet been finalised.

Wirra Wirra Managing Director Andrew Kay said the project will be a major boost for wine tourism in the McLaren Vale, with more tourists expected to turn a one-day visit into a multi-day itinerary.

“McLaren Vale has been crying out for five-star accommodation of this scale for years. The development will provide a base for visitors to not only enjoy the world class wine the region has to offer, but also the magnificent beaches, food and diverse nature experiences that can be found right across the greater Fleurieu Peninsula.”

South Australia Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway added: “Our wine regions are a tourism hot-spot and Wirra Wirra is one of South Australia’s exceptional tourism assets – naturally we predict interest in the hotel will be strong.”

Wirra Wirra is the second hotel project in South Australia for Greaton Group, adding to its commitment to develop Adelaide’s first Westin Hotel, announced in July.

Central to the Wirra Wirra project is for normal operations of the winery to be a key part of the hotel operation. Both domestic and international leisure tourists will be targeted by an underlying theme of health and wellness. It is unclear at this stage whether the hotel will be managed internally or if an established group with existing marketing resources will be sourced. Planning is underway with a tentative construction start in 2019 with guests to be welcomed at some point in 2022.

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