Gemtree Tasting Room
167 Elliott Road
McLaren Flat, SA
(08) 8383 0802
Open 7 days
11am – 5pm

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At Gemtree we have been gifted the opportunity to work a unique patch of the earth in South Australia’s McLaren Vale. By respecting and nurturing this land we harvest high quality, flavourful grapes each and every vintage from vineyards farmed with care.

  • More than 40km south of Adelaide by the old road, McLaren Vale has attracted winemakers, vignerons and visionaries for more than 180 years. Already a major wine region in the 1880s it was a century later that Paul and Jill Buttery purchased a plot of land named Gemtree off the narrow gum-lined track that is Elliot Road.

    Some 14 years after establishing the vineyards, Paul and Jill were issued a somewhat surprising request by their daughter Melissa, who had returned to South Australia after finishing a business diploma and exploring the world.

    Melissa: “I want to work in the vineyards.”
    Paul: “I’ll give you three weeks.”

    That was 1994, and in the ensuing decades, Melissa not only worked the vineyards but became a qualified viticulturalist, a well-regarded expert in biodynamic and organic farming and married a boy called Mike Brown, who is now Gemtree’s chief winemaker and managing director.

    Living in one of Australia’s most celebrated natural regions has given Melissa and Mike a mindfulness about the environment and the earth. They were growing organic fruit and vegetables in their backyard and, knowing there had to be a way to sustainably grow and farm grapes, they decided to take that philosophy into the vineyard.

    Experimentation with a few select blocks of Tempranillo ensued. After much trial, error, grit, determination and some choice swear words, Melissa started to see more life in the vineyards and a better quality of fruit flavour. From this point Melissa was determined to farm all of Gemtree’s blocks organically. Gemtree earned full organic certification in 2011.

    Never shying away from experimentation and the opportunity to improve Gemtree’s vineyards and wines, in 2007 Melissa delved into biodynamics, introducing techniques that interweave the health of the soil, vines and resident fauna and flora. Back at the winery, Mike was no stranger to innovation himself – testing out biodynamic winemaking practices that stand today.

    Under the care of this indomitable team over more than 25 years, the Gemtree vineyards are flush with health, resulting in exceptional fruit quality and outstanding wines of elegance and purity.

    Biodynamic wines grounded in earth.

  • From marketer to maker

    When Mike Brown departed his home state in the early 1990s to earn some money in the long hard slog that is a South Australian vintage, he had no inkling he would never again call New South Wales home. Mike left the Sydney stock exchange to study wine marketing, gaining valuable insights into wineries and winemaking during this time.

    But it was the smells, tastes and activity within the cellar, not the one-step-removed storytelling from the desk, that Mike really loved. The ability to take expertly grown fruit and create wines that rewarded the drinker and the maker saw him jump from wine marketing to winemaking.

    After working many vintages in wineries around McLaren Vale and France, it was 1998 when Mike completed his first vintage as a winemaker at Gemtree. His long-standing partnership with the winery, and with Melissa, resonates throughout Gemtree to this day.

    Melissa’s organically and biodynamically grown grapes are brought to the winery in pristine condition where Mike and his team craft them into elegant and delicious wines, a direct reflection of how and where the grapes are grown.

    Mike is forever grateful he has made his home in McLaren Vale. As Gemtree’s managing director, he now has many roles – from chief winemaker to sales and marketing guru, mentor and wellbeing instructor. Mike loves what he does, and with Melissa he is building the strong foundations of a winery that will flourish through the generations.

  • McLaren Vale is our home.

  • A place where we work in our beautiful vineyards and play in the oceans and rivers of the Fleurieu Peninsula. Only 40 kilometres south of Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, McLaren Vale is easily accessible, and we look forward to welcoming you.

    McLaren Vale’s history of viticulture and winemaking is almost as old as the state of South Australia itself. The first vines were planted here in 1838, just two years after settlement. Since then the region has grown into a community of likeminded individuals who grow grapes and make wine sustainably. Sustainable Australia Winegrowing (SAW) is a local industry initiative fostering and applying sustainable practices. Grape growers who are part of SAW account for more than 70 per cent of McLaren Vale’s total grape crush. Not only is McLaren Vale home to some of the world’s oldest vines, you could also say the region is the centre of Australia’s sustainable grape growing.

  • Biodynamic wines grounded in earth.

  • Sustainability + Biodynamics

    Biodynamic farming is not magic, nor is it a mystical belief that relies more upon hope than science. Biodynamics is simply a way of farming that enhances the soil and the environment around it through natural improvers rather than chemical sprays.

    Learn More

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