Warren Randall, owner and CEO of Seppeltsfield, said the luxury Oscar Seppeltsfield hotel and accompanying restaurant would be a symbol of global importance to South Australia’s wine industry and would become “the most sought-after epicurean destination for tourists worldwide”.
The approval to build Oscar Seppeltsfield was granted by the local Light Regional Council on 1 June, after a two-year heated dispute over the development.
The original application for the Oscar Seppeltsfield building was submitted on April 16, 2020, but public consultation with surrounding neighbors in July 2020 led to a legal challenge against the plan. The South Australian Environment, Resources and Development Court rejected an appeal against the project last year, but a Barossa The working group sued to have the project – which has been designated as “tourist accommodations” – categorized under a different category to allow for greater community consultation.
After further consultation, a revised development application was submitted to the Light Regional Council in February 2022, moving the hotel site 10m down a groove inside the Seppeltsfield vineyards, to be less intrusive into the landscape. This means that people in the neighboring village of Greenock will not see the hotel – although it can be seen along parts of the palm-lined Seppeltsfield Road area that runs through the main entrance to the Seppeltsfield Winery.
The hotel site will cover four hectares of Sebeltsfeld, with some bush Grinache The vines are being removed and replanted to replace the old, dead vines on existing vineyards, but a piece of the balamino fino will be gnawed off and Seppeltsfield will halt production of the fortified Fino.
Randall has led an expensive revitalization of the property since 2009, when he purchased a majority stake in Sebeltsfield’s vineyards and winery, established in 1841, and has since spent an estimated $12 million reviving the heritage-listed winery’s buildings.
However, Randall has adopted a completely different vision of the new hotel. Having proudly called Seppeltsfield the ‘Jewel of Barossa’, Randall has moved away from the sturdy bluestone buildings of historic Seppeltsfield to offer a futuristic flavor to the new hotel, which appears in architectural drawings as a gleaming metal and glass cylindrical tower rising steeply from the vineyard.
Its modern style offers a nod to the radical Frank Gehry-designed Marques de Riscal Winery in Elciego, northern Spain, which includes a 43-room five-star hotel and restaurant inside the premises of the working winery.
“I wanted to create a modern architectural icon with this new hotel,” Randall said. I wouldn’t be comfortable building a 19th century building. That would be a stark reproduction of what has already been done, and I want this new building to be original and great.
I don’t really mind that the design will create discussion and disagreement. It will bring people from all over the world to see it.
The project is being funded by a consortium of South Australian entrepreneurs, who expect Oscar Seppeltsfield to attract new visitors to the region and bring in an additional A$90 million in tourism spending within its first five years of operation.
All 71 rooms, suites, and penthouses at the hotel will have private balconies, while a viewing deck on the top floor will offer 360-degree views of the surrounding vineyards (the original intention to highlight the Skybar was removed from the revised plan). The hotel will also include a wellness day spa, infinity pool, world-class restaurant, private dining room, meeting room and helipad.
Project manager Toby Yap says the bidding process has now begun to select a luxury hotel operator, with the goal of starting construction of the first six-star resort and spa in the Australian wine region before the end of 2022. It is expected to open after two years of construction.
Developers expect Oscar Seppeltsfield guests to interact with neighboring Seppeltsfield, which includes the 1841 Seppeltsfield Cellar Door, the Centennial cellar (home to the world’s longest fortified vintage wine collection stored in barrel, from 1878), the 1888 Gravity Cellar (which processes 5,000 tons of grapes each vintage), FINO Restaurant, Jam Factory Craft and Design Studios, Vasse Virgin natural beauty products salon and Fine Art Photography Gallery.