“If you are out enjoying the local landscape and heading south along Hay Flat Road, a little before the Ingalala Falls a big red shed is bound to grab your attention. This bold statement is on the family farm of Peter Simic. Peter is the founding and current publisher of Australia’s most respected and oldest wine magazine Winestate, which was launched in 1978.

On this 80 acre property are growing 15 acres of a large variety of vines that produce a selection of award-winning local cooler climate wines.

Peter and wife Sharon with their daughters Lara and Alysia moved into the farm in 2000 and started setting up an experimental vineyard, primarily as a critic for Winestate Magazine, on the picturesque flood plains of the Ingalalla Valley with the Waterfall Creek meandering through it. Over 30 different clones were planted in 120 rows. The remaining acres are share farmed with a neighbouring farmer. One thing led to another and Peter became a wine producer under the label Parawa Estate.

“This is mainly for the overseas luxury market and for rock stars and high wealth individuals,” Peter tells me as we cruise around the damp grass and rich earth of the vineyards in his 4WD. “The newest label – Leafy Sea Dragon – was developed for the local market in conjunction with the Festival Fleurieu. We are keen supporters of local businesses and the local economy.”

The grapes are taken to a winery at McLaren Vale for processing and packaging where they receive their stunning Leafy Sea Dragon insignias. The design was created by Lara who is also Managing Editor at Winestate Magazine. It is a family affair, however, with Sharon and Alysia also directors of the business.

These local wines most recently received gold medals from the China Wine & Spirits Awards in 2020, although now that market has become problematic due to politics. “Just last week we received a ten year official certification to use the Leafy Sea Dragon name in China,” said Peter. “I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry over that one.”

Leafy Sea Dragon wines are local wines, supporting the local wine drinkers with a good value to quality price and a gold medal standard. They are available only in various cafes, restaurants and hotels throughout the area as indicated in the advert.

Meanwhile, back at the big red shed, Peter lined up samples of these fine local wines for a taste test, whilst discussing local news and contemplating life in the slow lane. As Peter says, “unrushed and unstressed produces the best wine” and I highly recommend you try some for yourself.”

Paul Jelfs
Editor at large
Yankalilla Regional News

Big Red Shed
Fleurieu Wine Estate
Fleurieu Wines Box