Paulett Wines Celebrate 30 Years
Pauletts' famed cellar door with its magnificent views, has become even better with the official opening of its 'Bush Devine Café', last Friday night. Opened by the Hon. Minister Brock and surrounded by family & friends it was a fabulous night celebrating the realization of a long awaited dream for the Paulett family. The Café is inspired & partly sourced from the adjacent Bush Food Garden with over 80 different species and 1000 plants. Local revered chef Roger Graham has devised a unique and mouthwatering menu to complement Pauletts' diverse range of wines. Chief Winemaker and Proprietor, Neil Paulett, has described the transformation of cellar door to incorporate a dining experience as a "dream come true". The Clare Valley has an enviable reputation world-wide for quality wines and more recently has become a burgeoning haven for food and wine experiences. "We look forward to becoming an integral part of this force".
About 1 ½ hours drive north from Adelaide is the beautiful Polish Hill River sub-region of the Clare Valley , home to Neil and Alison Paulett and their winery.
- Award-winning wines from South Australia's Clare Valley.
- Meeting / Conference Facilities:
- Wedding Facilities:
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- Dog Friendly:
- Winery Tours:
- Wine Tasting:
- Art or Architecture:
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Paulett Wines is not just a flash in the pan for Neil, founder and owner; it is the realisation of a lifelong dream to create a brand that will continue through the generations. With his close knit family by his side, Neils quest for prosperity is symbolised by the Moreton Bay fig tree he has planted out the back of the winery. When scouting for a place to lay down his roots back in the early 80’s, Neil felt an absolute ‘sense of belonging’ on sight for the Polish Hill region. Originally from Victoria, and after spending time in Sydney and the Hunter Valley, he has gone on to be one of the great ambassadors for the area and the broader Clare Valley. To those who know and work with Neil, he is known to love a ‘good old banter’ and someone to have a laugh with.
Possibly one of the only winemakers in the industry to be ‘hands on’ from vine to wine, Kelvin, naturally known as ‘Bud’, is more likely to be found pruning the vines than enjoying the glory of his craft. Lightheartedly describing himself as “a bit of a control freak”, Bud relishes being involved in every facet from growing the fruit to blending the wine. Initially trained in viticulture and later introduced to winemaking at Hardy’s, Bud really is the quintessential winemaker. Having had an association with Neil for over 30 years, 16 of those as winemaker at Pauletts, Bud has maintained his firm stance of remaining well out of the limelight. Although content with anonymity, Bud’s value to the winery is invariably celebrated by those around him every day.
Neil Paulett graduated from the Roseworthy Oenology course in 1971 and began working as a winemaker for Penfolds Wines in Sydney and then Rosemount in the Hunter Valley . With 10 years wine making experience behind him, Neil and wife Alison began their search for the place to establish their own family vineyard. After discovering the Clare Valley in 1981, they set about protracted negotiations to purchase what is now their property. The property had remained in the same family's hands from the 1860's until its purchase in 1983 and has a long history of vineyard production with vines being present for well over 100 years.
The property has expanded from the initial 47 hectares to 147 hectares and the on-going vineyard development now sees 25 hectares under vine. There is a substantial portion of Shiraz and Cabernet vines over 70 years of age and Riesling of 35 years and this their treasured resource makes up the back bone of the super premium red and white, the Andreas Shiraz and Antonina Riesling (Shiraz not produced every year, & Riesling yet to be produced) after these original settler family members. This connection with the past is felt very strongly and Neil and Alison understand and embrace the challenge of being custodians of the land for future generations. Son Matthew is now the Vineyard Manager and his ability to nurture both old vines and new is paying dividends. The exceptional quality of fruit produced is raising the standard of the wines even further.
In 2013 Pauletts celebrated the 30th Anniversary of operating their cellar door and receiving a producer's licence. The cellar door has become one of the 'must see' places in the Clare Valley, often described as having the most spectacular view from any cellar door in the country. "Thirty years ago, visiting a cellar door was not as common as now and we felt we had to offer that extra inducement to bring people to the Valley. Now it's just considered all part of the package, a welcoming cellar door, the premium wines and the spectacular views all enhance the sense of well-being that wine lovers have come to expect from Paulett's Winery" said Neil.
The range of wines produced has grown over the years in much the same way as Neil and Alison's interest in different varieties and wine styles. In addition to the staples of Shiraz and Riesling there is, a Late Harvest Riesling, Trillians Sparkling Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Cabernet & Malbec blend and a Cabernet Merlot. The constant refinement and attention to detail has led to the very high quality across this significant body of work.
General Manager / Owner
Described by Neil as ‘One of the Great Women in Wine’, Alison is the ‘doer’ behind Paulett Wines. Originally trained as a nurse, Alison has literally ‘learnt on the job’ alongside Neil as well as raising their family. Moving to the Clare Valley from the Upper Hunter, Alison bravely supported Neils dream to own his own winery. On a wing and a prayer, Alison laughingly describes Neil has having the vision whilst leaving her with the worry. Naturally shy, Alison admits she would rather be in the background, however as the backbone of the Paulett family, she is very much front and centre.
Vineyard Manager / Protoge'
As the Vineyard Manager for Paulett Wines, Matt overseas 114 acres of vines spread over Polish Hill and the Watervale regions. Fresh out of Roseworthy College with an Agricultural Science degree Matt’s vision of becoming a part the family winery was realised 18 years ago. Joined by his wife Ali a few years later, Matt’s focus has been on vineyard acquisition to complement their growing range of wines. Sharing his father’s vision to grow the winery for future generations, Matt plays an integral role in ensuring the vines are nurtured to provide quality fruit well in to the future.
Marketing & Sales
Ali is the driving force behind the sales and marketing for Paulett Wines. She is described by her fellow staff as the person who brings everyone together. Ali is an inspiration to others for her passion and dedication to the winery as well as being a busy mother of three young children. This passion has extended to the long awaited dream of opening ‘Bush Devine’, a bush food café experience situated on the deck at cellar door, offering million dollar views. With a myriad of qualifications and experience as broad as working with the Australian Equestrian Academy and vet nursing to running her own drafting business, Ali truly is a woman of many talents. She sees herself as incredibly fortunate to work with such a great family, in particular one that puts up with all of her craziness!
Otherwise known as ‘The Rock’, Graeme has been a part of the Paulett team as cellar hand / vineyard assistant for over four years. Jokingly describing himself as being at the ‘bottom of the rung’, Graeme is content with his unexpected diversion in to the wine industry in his later life. Originating from Booleroo Centre and with an extensive agricultural background, he headed to the Clare Valley looking for a sea change. A self confessed workaholic who ‘can’t do anything half-baked’ and goes above and beyond, Graham is a great asset to the Paulett Wines team.
Head Bushies Chef
With an illustrious career spanning a number of esteemed restaurants within the McLaren Vale and Clare Valley regions, Roger has been well embraced as a ‘Mintaro local’. Affectionately ribbed by all for his outlandish chef antics and eclectic taste in music, all is forgiven for a man living in a predominantly female household. Jokingly cajoled by his wife Tania to succumb to building his own ‘man cave’, Roger considers ‘his kitchen’ a welcome solace. After a 5 year stint running their own restaurant ‘Artisans’, he is enjoying the slower pace of ‘Bush Devine’ and of course the spectacular views!
Cellar Door Manager
Earning the coveted title of ‘Cellar Door Person of the Year’ at the 2014 Clare Valley Wine Show, Linda is a highly valued member of the team. Relishing her decision to move to the Clare Valley 8 years ago, initially taking on a position with O’Leary Walker and then joining Paulett Wines over 3 years ago, Linda believes she has ‘found her calling’. Armed with managerial and administration experience in varied industries, Linda’s digression in to cellar door work has been a welcome change for her. With a great love for the Paulett family and brand, Linda loves nothing more than spruiking the fabulous range of Paulett wines.
Cellar Door Sales
Sarah is highly regarded amongst her peers as much for her wit as her extensive background in the South Australian wine industry. Originally hailing from the Adelaide Hills and after stints in other regions, Sarah has resettled along with her family in the Clare Valley, developing a deep affection for the ‘sense of community’ enjoyed by all. With an ingrained passion for quality wine and food, visitors to cellar door will take away a greater knowledge of both the Paulett experience and the Clare Valley region as a whole.
Head Waitress/ Chief Barista
Ally is much better known within the Paulett ranks as ‘The Bolt’, coined as a direct correlation to her maiden name and speed on ‘the floor’. Formally trained as a chef, her early years were mainly spent in the kitchen at the renowned local Rising Sun Hotel. On expansion of her family, Ally exchanged one apron for another to allow a better family work life balance. After a long stint at Clare’s revered café Wild Saffron, she became well loved for her infectious personality and outstanding barista skills. Ally is hesitant to gloat on her ‘2014 Clare Valley Barista of the Year’ award however the Paulett team is happy to hang their hat on that one.
Having teamed with some of the most notable foodies in the Clare Valley, including Roger Graham in her early years, it is only fitting that Jess has come full circle to again share the kitchen with her mentor. When she’s not dodging pots and pans, Jess relishes the opportunity to hone her skills making specialty desserts. The added challenge of featuring the vast array of bush ingredients available to Jess has her firmly embedded in the successful union that is Pauletts’ ‘Bush Devine’ café.
Amazing story that will be updated shortly.
Practices & Techniques
In the middle of 2010 we had A series of solar panels erected on the winery roof, 56 to be exact. Not only are we taking pressure of grid but we are putting back into it. It's a nice feeling to know we are doing our bit and what makes it sweeter is the $0- power bills!
RECYLING WATER THROUGH OUR REED BEDS
As most of you are aware water is a very precious comodity. Out here at the winery we definetly rely on the gods as our only water is Rain water and very little from our bores. So every drop counts. When the wine tanks are empty of wine we use them as rain water tanks to catch as much as possible. And once we have used that, we use it again by taking the grey water and filter it through our reed beds to be recycled onto our garden & vineyards.
We've planted an Indigenous Australian Bush Food Garden. Over 2,500 m², 80+ different species, 1000+ plants in total inc. trees, shrubs, ground covers, climbers and wetland species for the 'frog bog'. The garden provides valuable habitat for birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects. In creating this garden we replanting a lot of natives that where once removed helping to rebuild local habitat, improving biodiversity values.
Environmentally friendly techniques used to manage the 'garden' are recycling of grey water, mulching using grape waste, smart irrigation .Also we designed the garden using companion planting & plant selection to help shade and nurture more delicate plants, and help control with pest and weeds.
Pauletts reputation for producing wines of finesse, elegance and intensity is justly earned and their skill and care can be seen consistently from vintage to vintage. Neil has a craftsman's sensibilities coupled with over 30 years experience making wine - and it all shows. The current release wines have a touch more roundness and generosity than previously and it's these subtle on-going improvements that have kept Pauletts at the forefront of Australian wine.