Sinclair’s Gully, a family run wine and ecotourism business at Norton Summit SA, was the Hills’ shining light at the 2012 South Australian Tourism Awards Ceremony last Friday night, bringing home two awards, the prestigious Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism, a second award for Ecotourism and also picked up a gold medal in the Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Boutique Breweries category. To top of an amazing night, Sinclair’s Gully was inducted into the State Tourism Hall of Fame, in front of 550 guests at the Adelaide Convention Centre.
Owners Sue and Sean Delaney are absolutely thrilled to be the first Adelaide Hill’s winery to be inducted into the State Tourism Hall of Fame.
Sue said, ’Being inducted in to the Hall of Fame is something we only ever dreamed about. We feel very honoured to be recognised up there with the very best tourism businesses the State has to offer. If someone had said to us when we bought our property at Norton Summit 15 years ago, that one day we would be standing on the podium for the State Tourism Awards Hall of Fame, I would have laughed and said they were crazy!’
These awards top off an amazing year for Sinclair’s Gully, who were placed second at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in March and all 4 of their Methode Traditionale sparkling wines were rated 93 points or higher by James Halliday this year. Sean said " Our decision to specialize in sparkling wines and hand disgorge wines in small batches has been a huge success. Unlike larger commercial operations we let the wine dictate the timeframe. By allowing the balance of each vintage to enjoy the full benefits of bottle age on lees we are in the unique position of offering a range of recently disgorged (RD) wines to the sparkling wine lover.“
Sean went on to say, “Four years ago Sinclair's Gully recognised challenging times ahead for small tourism businesses and developed a number of unique, sustainable wine and ecotourism experiences based around their conservation and sustainability message. These innovative products have been met with wide customer approval and strong ongoing support which has secured our business viability. Working under their "Conservation in a Glass" theme, Sinclair's Gully exemplifies an enlightened approach to viticulture whereby the focus is on soil health and working with nature rather than against it. Certainly the resulting handcrafted artisanal wines are establishing a reputation for excellence in their own right. The discerning wine consumer can now exercise their environmental conscience while enjoying some of the finest cool climate wines available.”
As the hills only climate action innovator and advanced ecocertified cellar door, one of only two cellar doors in Australia to carry ecocertified accreditation, the business employs a triple bottom line approach across all aspects of its operations. Environmental practices focus on conservation of the endangered candlebark ecosystem and the use of biodynamic vineyard practices to ensure sustainable outcomes. Other sustainable initiatives include zero waste 100% recycling program, the onsite collection of all water and reuse of grey water on the surrounding garden, its energy efficiency program and solar power project, through to measuring and implementing strategies to reduce its carbon and ecological footprint.
The results of Sinclair’s Gully’s sustainability initiatives include returning over 80% of their property to a gazetted sanctuary ensuring the ongoing protection and conservation of the endangered candlebark ecosystem. 55% of its business electricity is generated on site from the solar power initiative and power usage has reduced by 43% over the last 4 years,
Sue said “Our sustainability initiatives have resulted in a 51% reduction in our carbon footprint over 4 years. These initiatives have not only reduced our environmental footprint, but resulted in significant cost savings, improving the business’s net profitability.”
”Sinclair’s Gully has many facets, with wildflower walks in spring, watching the black cockatoos fly through the candlebark forest at dusk at a summer twilight tasting, or just sitting back on the deck with a glass of wine and a platter provides a very personal and unique Australian wine and ecotourism experience, allowing visitors to connect with their natural heritage” Sean concluded.
As a South Australian Tourism Awards winner, Sinclair’s Gully is now automatically entered into the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards to be held in Tasmania in February 2013, to compete against the best in each State and Territory.