Ahrens at home amongst the vines

While having a national reach and presence that continues to see unstoppable growth, Ahrens’ roots are and will always be firmly planted in one of Australia’s premier food and wine regions – the Barossa Valley.  Read more

Impressive central hub for Barossa region’s wine education and history unveiled

From its stunning location in the heart of the Barossa Valley, The Barossa Cellar is a unique concept in Australia, built to showcase the region’s rich wine heritage and culture to the world.

The multi-purpose facility serves as a central hub for activities platforming wine education, winemaking and wine history in the region as well as cellars an independent collection of the Barossa and Eden Valleys’ finest wines.

The recently completed facility has been a passion project for Ahrens’ managing director Stefan Ahrens who has been a generous driving force in seeing this adventurous community project take shape.

As a member of The Barossa Cellar committee, Ahrens said it was great that Ahrens were able to apply their extensive experience in projects for the food and beverage industry to deliver this project.

“We’ve been working with the wine industry for in excess of 40 years, where we offer anything from warehouses to processing facilities to kitchen and retail operations,” he said.

Scope of works included a spacious foyer, offices for the Barossa Grape and Wine Association, a grand hall for wine education and promotion activities, commercial kitchen, a wine cellar and an impressive 36 metre-long wine vault.

The substantial cellar stores more than 3,000 bottles of the finest wines from the Barossa and Eden Valleys, with the overall facility built into the side of a hill to see the cellar effectively located underground.

The wine vault features stone walls and roofing, which proved to be a challenge.

However the Ahrens’ project team had the clever idea to install the stone afterwards in metre-by-metre sections, allowing access behind and above for services.

The cellar also features a specialised wine cellar conditioning system to ensure an optimum wine preservation temperature.

The Barossa Cellar’s modern and unique design is inspired by the traditional stone buildings of the region with 250 tonnes of stone donated from a nearby Eden Valley winery construction.

Other features include polished concrete floors throughout, which meant being particularly careful during construction to preserve the condition of the concrete, as well as American Oak timber in the vault.

The feature timber had to acclimatise for weeks to achieve optimum moisture content to suit the vault, before the construction team could start installing it.

This helped prevent the timber from warping once installed

With the need to dig so deep into the earth to construct the facility into the hill side, the structural design also created a challenge with rocky substrate.

The rocky conditions then created a significant amount of leftover site materials that needed to be discarded however an innovative solution was applied with the rocks crushed and used in the roadways for the site.

The facility is completed by a one-hectare vineyard sprawling immediately in front of the cellar building.

The vineyard features 2,000 Barossa Shiraz vines, sourced from a collection of cuttings from 35 of the Barossa’s oldest and most iconic vineyards.

Ahrens was proud to be an integral part of this exciting community project and successful in delivering this landmark for the region.

Ahrens’ latest project a sweet success

Ahrens’ latest design and construct project, Barossa Valley Chocolate Company, has proven to be a sweet success with locals and visitors to the South Australian region.

The $5.5 million-dollar facility combines a chocolaterie, retail shop, café, ice creamery and cellar door, nestled amongst mature gum trees and vineyards in the historic Barossa Valley, South Australia.

As a fellow local Barossa company, Ahrens were a winning match of experience in the region with a quality cost effective approach.

Works included the construction of a 1,375 square metre building complete with functioning chocolate producing facility, amphitheatre, cellar door, commercial kitchen, 150 seat café, retail area, point of sale areas, landscaping and a deck under the main roof overlooking a fabricated lake.

The venue offers several stunning design focal points including a chocolate waterfall, a stone fireplace, picturesque man-made lake, and a viewing window to the chocolaterie, which plans to initially produce 50 tonnes of chocolate a year.

Ahrens engaged Barossa architect, Jamie Gladigau of JBG Architects, to design the facility, continuing a long-relationship of local projects with Ahrens.

Barossa Valley Chocolate Company was the brainchild of owners Chris and Sandy Day who collaborated with Food and Beverage Australia Limited (FABAL) to see their idea come to fruition.

The venue takes inspiration from destinations around the world that have already perfected the art of pairing beautiful locally-produced chocolate with local wines.

The cellar door showcases FABAL’s Vineyard Road wines and offers paired chocolate and wine tastings.

The venue was officially opened by Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment David Ridgway and Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone.

Mr Ridgway said the latest attraction was ‘a fantastic addition to the Barossa Valley tourism mix’. “Appealing to children and adults alike, it is sure to bring an influx of visitors to the region,” Mr Ridgway said.

“It is a significant investment and contribution into South Australia’s visitor economy that will create jobs for locals and increase the already outstanding appeal of the Barossa Valley.”

With extensive experience in delivering facilities for the food and beverage sector across Australia, Ahrens are particularly renowned in the Barossa Valley for specialising in winery buildings and infrastructure, commercial buildings, and engineering and winery maintenance.

Our experience ensures we can deliver facilities that meet even the most stringent of food handling and processing requirements.

Barossa Shiraz named best in world

A Barossa Valley red from a small family-owned winery has been judged the best in the world at the London Wine Competition.

Kellermeister Wines 2015 Wild Witch Shiraz was also ranked the competition’s best Shiraz and best Australian wine. Wines from Australia dominated the show, winning 11 Gold medals and 31 per cent of all medals awarded.

Wild Witch retails for $A85 a bottle and scored 98 points to take out the competition’s top prize.

Kellermeister winemaker and owner Mark Pearce said he was “over the moon” with the global recognition, which comes seven years after Wild Witch was crowned the best shiraz in the world at the International Wine Challenge in London.

“Such a strong showing on the international stage is great for our state, our beautiful Barossa region and for Kellermeister – we’re thrilled,” he said.

Kellermeister Wines is a small family-owned winery established at Lyndoch in South Australia’s Barossa Valley in 1976.

The London Wine Competition honour adds to a string of recent accolades, including two gold medals at last year’s Syrah du Monde international wine competition in France where Kellermeister was ranked Australia’s best shiraz producer.

South Australia is consistently responsible for about 50 per cent of Australia’s annual production and 75 per cent of premium wine.

The Barossa Valley also produces world-renowned brands such as Penfolds Grange, Jacob’s Creek and Wolf Blass.

Only in its second year, the London Wine Competition looks beyond quality alone and judges entries based on value for money (25 per cent), packaging design (25 per cent) and quality (50 per cent).

It is part of a new wider London drinks awards initiative that also includes The London Spirit Competition and the London Beer Competition that look to reward and highlight market driven spirits and beer brands.

Judges at this year’s competition comprised 11 Masters of Wine, a Master Sommelier, key retail buyers and senior sommeliers from London’s fine dining scene.