Fox Creek Wines

Operating Dates:

1984 –

In 1984. when Jim and Helen Watts bought the 32 hectare Fox Creek Vineyard property at 90 Malpas Road, McLaren Vale, they were advised against planting vines as the soils were heavy clay. The property had previously been used for growing barley and grazing sheep. Undeterred by the sceptics, they selected and planted fine quality cuttings and nurtured the young vines. Their labours bore fruit – extraordinary good quality fruit – that was lovingly converted into supreme quality wines.

Henry Malpas owned the land where Fox Creek is today for over 100 years, and the Malpas family has a great deal of history in the area. The Malpas family lived in Willunga House and as they grew up, a number of their children lived in the cottage on Malpas Road that now houses Fox Creek’s cellar door. The cottage is thought to be 129 years old; with records suggesting it was built in 1875.

Captain James Stanley Malpas’ grave is in St Stephen’s cemetery in Willunga. He was the youngest son of nine children, of Henry and Mary Ann Malpas and is the namesake of Fox Creek’s popular wine JSM Shiraz-Cabernet Franc. When James Stanley Malpas was eighteen years old, he inscribed his initials and the year in the stone lintel above the front door of the cottage. Thirty-one years later, as a forty-nine year old, James still liked to leave his mark – inscribing JSM 1922 on the outside wall of his family home, Willunga House! James Malpas and his family were very well respected in Willunga and were heavily involved with the community.

Leader of the pack and the first wine made at Fox Creek was their 1994 Shiraz, which won the Trophy for the best wine at the McLaren Vale Wine Show in 1995. Success has continued and Fox Creek now markets single varietal wines from Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and blends of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot (Duet), Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc (JSM’s sparkling red called Vixen), Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre. The white wines produced are Vermentino, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Verdelho.

Fox Creek Wines have become well known for their three Shiraz wines; Reserve Shiraz, Short Row Shiraz and Red Baron Shiraz.

Fox Creek are the only wine company in Australia that have braille and large print on the back labels of all their wines and are now working to develop winery tours for both the visually impaired and those with hearing loss. Their aim is to include captioning on some of their promotional films and generally to encourage a more inclusive society, regardless of ability. Being community minded Fox Creek are always involved in supporting local events, charities and promoting our region.

Fox Creek is also very proud to support the arts within Australia and sponsors a range of arts organisations and festivals. They also have bimonthly art exhibitions at their cellar door.

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