15. December – McLaren Vale’s iconic winery, Fox Creek Wines, was bought by old friends and colleagues Ben Gibson, Jock Harvey and Dim Georgiadis.
Ben has held various positions in the wine industry over the past 20 years, including several board positions at Pernod Ricard and most recently as CEO of Kirrihill Wines in the Clare Valley. Jock, a strong supporter of the wine industry, is best known as the owner of Chalk Hill Viticulture, while Dim, who has a legal background, is the founder and business development manager of the FABAL Group, which specializes in large-scale agribusiness and vineyard management.
Three companions will combine their common experiences to embark on the next journey to Fox Creek Wines.
All three share a love of Shiraz, Grenache and quality alternatives, as well as a passion for the McLaren Valley region, its wines, food, environment and local community.
Fox Creek was founded in 1984 by Helen and Dr. Jim Watts after they bought a property on Malpas Road in McLaren Vale. Fox Creek has won many national and international awards and has also been recognised as a 5-star winery by James Holliday. The flagship, the Fox Creek Reserve Shiraz, is recognized in the Outstanding category of the Langton Wine Classification System.
Standing on the dam during the tour, Gibson, who will take over as CEO, said she quickly realized that Fox Creek Wines is a hidden gem with its rich soil, 1,200-ton vineyard, 20 acres of quality wineries and historic cellar doors – all on a 46-acre property.
Despite the challenges facing the wine industry in today’s climate and pandemic, Jock, Dim and I immediately saw the value of investing in such an iconic wine brand as McLaren Vale.
McLaren Vale’s unique combination of McLaren Vale wines and world-class products with the beach lifestyle ensures that the area offers a truly unique and welcoming experience.
With Fox Creek so close to our home town of Willunga, Jock and I couldn’t be happier to be together. In cooperation with our good friend Dim, we are starting an exciting new chapter for Fox Creek Wines, said Mr. Gibson.
We share a passion for the local community, which will be at the heart of Wine Fox Creek’s philosophy, he added.
Although this is a given for Fox Creek Wines, there are plans for new vineyard plantings, brand improvement, investment in cellar doors and new site experiences, including a wider representation of the landscape, supported by biodiversity and ecology. Nearby, we’ll meet the staff at Fox Creek as they plan the long-awaited 2021 vintage, and talk to our winemakers, contractors, customers and loyal members of the Circle Wine Club.
Helen Watts, co-founder and current owner of Fox Creek, said since I recently celebrated my 86th birthday. When I celebrated my 50th birthday, I decided it was time to find the right people to lead Fox Creek into the future. I’m sure it is.
Langley and Co. was a sales consultant for the Watts family. I would like to thank the Watts family, the Board of Directors of Fox Creek and Stephen Strachan, Managing Director of Langley & Co, for their efforts to make this sale a reality. We are very grateful to the Watts family for the legacy they have created and look forward to writing the next exciting chapter for Fox Creek Wines magazine, Mr. Gibson said.
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