Barossa homestead on the Grange
I was there recently to taste the 2021 Penfolds Collection, the 16 top-end Penfolds wines including the latest vintage of Grange, but I can’t tell you about them until July 22, when the embargo is lifted.
The cone of silence was installed in the capacious ballroom of this amazing complex, near Shea-Oak Log on the western edge of the Barossa. The owner and developer of this resort is Stef Ahrens, a Barossa boy who grew up at Shea-Oak Log, and whose family business is the Ahrens engineering and construction company. He returned to Kingsford Homestead to splash millions of dollars on converting an old stone house into a resort the likes of which the Barossa has never seen.
“My aim was to create the number one food and wine combination facility in Australia,” he said. As we got into a second tasting (more cone of silence on that, suffice to it say Penfolds always unveils something new and special at these events) in an underground gallery, with stone walls, he confided “And we have a complete Grange set at Langton’s which is yet to be installed.”
One of the unique features of this complex is the semi-underground kegelbahn, which for you non-German speakers is a 10-pin bowling alley. It has two lanes, complete with ball return chute and hand-drying gear.
Right beside it is a rather speccy bar, a lounge and a boardroom for those moments when serious business must be done. But the primary target of the complex seems to be weddings and other large celebrations. The stonework, as Stef Ahrens pointed out, is British slate and stone brought out to the colonies as ships’ ballast.
Kingsford Homestead has 16 accommodation suites and five-star dining and is due to officially open in August. The original homestead achieved fame when used as the set for the TV series McLeod’s Daughters.
The 2021 Penfolds Collection includes the 2019 vintages of Bin 28, Bin 128, Bin 389, Bin 707, Bin 150 Marananga Shiraz, RWT, 2018 St Henri and 2017 Grange, so stay tuned for the verdicts, to be published here on July 22.