In January 2013, Kangarilla Road founders Kevin and Helen O’Brien succeeded in breaking the mould for a winery sale, crafting a remarkable win-win outcome. They sold their winery and surrounding vineyard to Gemtree Wines, which has had its wine made at Kangarilla Road since ’01 under the watchful eye of Kevin. The O’Briens have retained their adjacent JOBS vineyard and the Kangarilla Road wines continue to be made by Kevin at the winery. Luck of the Irish, perhaps. Exports to the UK, Ireland, the US, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. -JAMES HALLIDAY
Kevin and Helen O’Brien started Kangarilla Road in McLaren Vale in 1997. They make a wide range of wines, including many small-batch Italian varieties, but don’t ignore the local heroes of McLaren Vale. Kevin makes the wines using minimal-intervention winemaking which lets the grapes and their terroir express themselves. The wines are vegan-friendly, Kevin uses low preservatives and are currently working on making their vineyards part of Sustainable Winegrowing Australia. The O’Briens wines are smooth, elegant and consistent.