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Eyre Peninsula welcomes winemaking's first crush

In March 2020 Peter Teakle Wines celebrated its first vintage being crushed onsite in Port Lincoln. Peter Teakle started work on the Peninsula’s first winery in 2019, and has installed a multi-million-dollar 100-tonne crush facility with the vineyard’s white grapes now harvested.

Grapes from our vineyard were harvested and crushed on the same day. Previously, after picking, the grapes would be transported to O'Leary Walker in the Clare Valley for crushing. Chief Winemaker Liz Heidenreich said the freight costs was one of the main reasons for building the facility.

"When you are freighting grapes, you are freighting the stalks and the stems as well — so you have a lot of weight there, whereas now we only have to send the finished wine over to be bottled," she said.

"It is about 40 per cent less weight because you aren't sending all the by-product too."

Liz also said an improvement in the quality of the grapes is another huge benefit.

"The vineyard is just metres from the winery so the grapes will get picked and we can have it here within minutes, so we can start processing straight away."

The new facility will be able to be used by other local producers and will allow growers to process their grapes locally, which Liz said could turn the area into a winemaking region, not just a grape-growing area.

"This year both wineries have for the first time been able to crush at home. This is the first time this has happened on Eyre Peninsula, it’s a whole new industry, there’s lots of industry here already but its mainly with the fishing, this is quite different for the region,” she said. 

Boston Bay Wines used the winery within the first few days of operation and manager Tony Ford agrees it is a game changer for the industry in our region. 

"On the quality side of things the fruit can be picked when it is spot-on and the sugar levels are perfect and we can reduce all that travel time where they are sitting in a truck." Mr Ford said.

Peter Teakle Wines owner Peter Teakle has been involved in the wine industry for more than 50 years and said the new facility was "history making".

"I now get to 'literally' see the fruits of our labour harvested right in front of me and then processed by Liz in this incredible on-site facility," he said.

"I couldn't be prouder of what we have achieved already."