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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.