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Blink Design Group to make Australian debut with Wirra Wirra winery resort


The first luxury resort in South Australia’s McLaren Vale wine region is a step closer with plans lodged for the A$30 million Wirra Wirra Wellness Resort.

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The 33-room resort will be spread across 10 separate buildings among vineyards between the existing Wirra Wirra winery and the heritage property that once belonged to founder Robert Wigley, which will be transformed into a Bridal Suite.

Guest facilities will include a swimming pool – set within a reflection pool – as well as a function hall and wellness centre.

Sydney and Adelaide-based developer Greaton has lodged the application with the City of Onkaparinga and has appointed Bangkok/Singapore-based luxury resort architects, Blink Design Group.

Blink’s portfolio of premier resorts includes the Fairmont Sanur Beach Bali, Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, the Six Senses Uluwatu – all in Bali – the Ritz-Carlton, Juizhaihou in Sichuan China and the Viceroy Princes’ Islands Istanbul in Turkey.

Greaton Managing Director Nicho Teng said the project would bring an unsurpassed level of luxury to the region and be Blink’s first Australian project

“The Wirra Wirra resort will be like nothing else in South Australia. We are proud to bring the expertise of an internationally-acclaimed architectural firm that specialises in luxury accommodation to this location,” he said.

“South Australia, and particularly the McLaren Vale region, well and truly deserves a high-end resort like this. We have no doubt it will attract more well-heeled tourists to the area which will directly increase local tourism revenue.

The McLaren Vale region 40km south of Adelaide is home to more than 80 wineries and is known for its premium Shiraz and Grenache.

It is Australia’s fifth largest wine region by value and home to several world-renowned brands including Hardys, Wirra Wirra and d’Arenberg. Wirra Wirra is one of the region’s largest largest producers and exports wine to more than 20 countries.

Wirra Wirra Managing Director Andrew Kay said the resort would provide a base for visitors to not only enjoy the world-class wine the region had to offer, but also its beaches, food and diverse nature experiences.

“To introduce the first five-star resort operation in McLaren Vale is not just a coup for us, but a catalyst for job creation, upskilling and growth in the region,” he said.

“The knock-on effect to local businesses and suppliers cannot be underestimated and I look forward to seeing the economic and community benefits from this investment in wine tourism.”

Construction is scheduled to commence in November 2020, with completion slated for July 2022.

South Australian architecture studio, Studio S2 Architects, has been commissioned to undertake documentation and compliance for the Wirra Wirra project.

Director Daniel Smedley said the site provided great inspiration with its historic buildings and vineyard landscape.

“The resort has been designed to reflect elements of the buildings on site and in the region, and to enjoy the vineyard and Australian bushland setting, while respecting the wine region aesthetics that McMurtrie Road provides,” Smedley said.

“This will be achieved by designing the buildings to sit behind and blend in with the native tree line.

“The buildings will be finished with a mix of local limestone, granite and bluestone, with hardwood natural stained finishes. The rooves will be in dark grey metal sheet roof cladding to fit in with its surrounding context.

The d’Arenberg Cube cellar door and restaurant has helped attract thousands of visitors to the South Australian wine region of McLaren Vale since it opened in 2017.

“As a local architectural practice specialising in tourism projects, we are excited to be working on a project of this calibre in conjunction with the team at Blink Design Group, and a local consulting team, while continuing our long-term working relationship with Wirra Wirra.”

McLaren Vale is the gateway to the Fleurieu Peninsula, which accounts for an average of 762,000 overnight tourist stays worth $258M in expenditure annually.

The region is also home to the d’Arenberg Cube, which is fast becoming one of Australia’s most iconic cellar doors and has helped lure thousands of visitors to the region since it opened in 2017.


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