Wine and music

Bird in Hand Winery at Woodside has worked hard to create a reputation as a premium brand.
It produces wonderful wine, projects a glamorous image and is a beautiful destination for wine tasting, weddings and now major music events.
All this is the result of strategic business planning and marketing and in a time when the wine industry is painfully restructuring it is great to see a local business being innovative and successful.
The approval has taken more than two years but the fact is Bird in Hand is in the watershed for Adelaide’s water supply and it is not connected to mains sewage.
It must dispose of all waste water on site.
From the moment the winery opened it was aware that the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) had a policy of not approving cellar doors, restaurants or the like catering for crowds greater than 75 people in such a sensitive area.
It should also have been aware that neighbors might enjoy a top notch cellar door on their doorstep but they might not be too happy about living next door to a concert venue.
As a result it has taken a long time and numerous amendments to an original application to increase capacity for weddings, functions and concerts.
The winery has finally reached a compromise with the EPA and the Adelaide Hills Council’s Development Assessment Panel (DAP) but it means bringing in portable toilets and taking all dirty cutlery, crockery and tablecloths off site for cleaning.
Given the more up market clientele targeted by Bird in Hand for its events this appears to be a sensible solution. Its events are hardly Woodstock-style mud soaked festivals.
However, the EPA’s hard line does send a message to anyone wanting to set up or expand businesses in the watershed.
Businesses are going to have to be creative and innovative to meet the environmental challenges of the zone.
Bird in Hand’s application still has to go to the State Government’s Development Assessment Commission (DAC) for final approval.
Owner Andrew Nugent is confident because he knows he has the EPA on side when it comes to water quality issues but it’s not a given.
Recently the DAC rejected an olive oil cellar door, tourist cabin and cafe application at Echunga.
The development made it through the Mt Barker Council’s DAP but it didn’t make it any further because the proposal was considered inconsistent with various objectives of the watershed zone and the council’s own water protection policies.