cradle of hills

South Australia | McLaren Vale

Our Review

Paul Smith’s introduction to wine was an unlikely one: the Royal Australian Navy and, in particular, the wardroom cellar at the tender age of 19. A career change took Paul to the world of high-performance sports, and he met his horticulturist wife Tracy. From '05 they travelled the world with their 2 children, spending a couple of years in Europe, working in and learning about the great wine regions and about how fine wine is made. Paul secured a winemaking diploma and they now have 3.46ha of shiraz, 2.67ha of cabernet sauvignon and 0.38ha of mourvèdre, supplementing this with purchased grenache and mourvèdre. -JAMES HALLIDAY


Cradle of Hills is a small-scale (800 case pa), family-run winery and vineyard, sitting by the sea in a ‘cradle’ of hills in McLaren Vale. Owners Paul and Tracy Smith have professional backgrounds in organic horticulture and in artisan winemaking. They found their farm in McLaren Vale, via years in Europe, in 2008. Here, they quietly make small batches of 'slow' wine, reminiscent of those experienced in rural France and Australia. And like many artisan producers, they believe that wine lovers will ‘find’ them eventually.

Farming: Using only sustainable farming practices, the grapes are low-yielding with small parcels of A-grade fruit selected each year for the COH brand.

Winemaking: Paul uses wild yeast rather than cultured. He hand picks and hand sorts his best fruit, he uses small 1500 litre fermenters and hand-plunges his wines three or four times a day. He uses no enzymes and prefers not to fine or filter his wines, rather allowing the lees to clarify over time. No tannins are added and secondary, malolactic fermentation occurs naturally. It’s a very slow process.

They are open by appointment only, as wines generally 'sell out' each year. Each appointment is private, in the barrel store or in their home.
Ask Paul Smith a question about his wines and expect his eyes to light up. He will hand you a sample from barrel or bottle and tell you a story. Pretty quickly you’ll relax and enjoy the ride. Some folks stay for hours, if he happens to be blending a new wine or plunging vats. Before long, you will be part of the story too.

Cradle of Hills
McLaren Vale
OPEN by Appointment Only 11am - 4pm. 7 days.
Bookings on 0438 564 281 or by email:


Shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, mourvedre.

Cellar Door


Yes, we love visitors!
Open By Appointment 7 days, 11am - 4pm. Call us on 0438 564 281 to book a private guided tasting with us, or email:
Tastings are free of charge for small parties. We charge $10pp for groups of more than 6 people.
We are child and pet friendly. EFT available.
Open Days: April and November on certain weekends. See our website for details.

Cradle 100 Wine Club: We have a wine allocation system to ensure that our regular buyers have assured access to our wines, before they sell-out, as our production runs are very small. Wines are chosen by members and are discounted for members only. Please see our website for more information.
Extended Cellar: We offer a free of charge cellaring lay-by service for Cradle 100 Wine Club Members only. Please enquire.


Sun: 11:00am till 4:00pmMon: 11:00am till 4:00pmTue: 11:00am till 4:00pmWed: 11:00am till 4:00pmThu: 11:00am till 4:00pmFri: 11:00am till 4:00pmSat: 11:00am till 4:00pm

Details are correct at time of writing

Please check winery website for up to date details



By prior booking we prepare fresh, regional food platters to enjoy while tasting our wines at $30 for 2 persons (Pricing Nov 2019). Please book your platter by Thursday for a weekend appointment.

For Wine Enthusiasts: Enjoy a special Wine & Food Tasting Experience with winemaker Paul Smith (1 hour). This allows a lengthy and in-depth consideration of wine characters, matched precisely with small bites of food. For wine lovers and aficionados. White, rosè and reds wines included. Please enquire.

Details are correct at time of writing

Please check winery website for up to date details

Stockist Information

Distribution Information

Winery Direct – All states: Enquire to Paul Smith on 0418 826 206 or email


Rating Not Rated
Winemaker Paul Smith
Established 2009
Dozens 800
Vineyards (area) 6.51 ha
Viticulturist N/A
Opening Hours 7 days by appt
Address 76 Rogers Road, Sellicks Hill, SA, 5174
Telephone 0418 826 206