In 1843 Horticulturist George McEwin took up the land upon which the house and buildings of Glen Ewin Estate now stand, and began planting fruit trees and vines.
Glen Ewin was one of the earliest vineyards in South Australia with the first vines of Frontignac, Black Hambro and Roussillon planted in about 1845. However in 1891 wine-making ceased due to George McEwin's religious concerns regarding the morality of the enterprise and, thereafter, effort was concentrated on the product for which the property became best known - Glen Ewin Jams.
The Homestead & Buildings
The northern wing of Glen Ewin homestead was built in the late 1850s and enlarged to its present size in the 1880’s. All the existing buildings were built to accommodate the expanding jam business, and were mainly constructed prior to 1900 of local stone from a quarry on the property. The business prospered and Glen Ewin Jams became well known throughout the country. However tastes were changing by the 1980’s, and management was not able to adapt. Unfortunately the enterprise deteriorated and eventually failed altogether in 1989.
The jam-making enterprise actually began in 1862 as a result of Mr. McEwin's inability to sell a load of fruit one day. Being a canny Scot he was not going to waste the fruits of his labour. The jam eventually became Glen Ewin's icon product.
Glen Ewin is now the home of Bill and Wendy Wauchope, who have undertaken the daunting task of restoring not only the gracious homestead, but also the large array of factory and outbuildings.
In the process of the Wauchope’s rebuilding Glen Ewin, it has once again become a hive of activity. The factory buildings are now used for climate-controlled wine storage (since 1992) as well as general storage, receptions, weddings, product launches and community events.
Glen Ewin Estate is home to Willabrand Figs. Willabrand has some 5000 fig trees on the terraces - many of the trees are from the original jam-making days and now produce a variety of delicious fig-based products.
The Gatehouse was completed in December 2009 on the site of the old coach house and stables at the property's entrance. The Gatehouse is modelled along the lines of the original building with stone, timber and tin being extensively used to ensure the heritage feel of the property is maintained.
It is not known exactly when the original coach house/stable was built at the entrance to Glen Ewin, but suffice to say it was standing for well over 100 years. It had a cobbled floor and was constructed with jarrah columns with oregon used elsewhere in the construction, and clad with corrugated iron imported from England.
The Gatehouse houses Glen Ewin memorabilia and documents dating back to the days of George McEwin in the mid-century. We plan to display and collect many more items.
It is also the home of the Bistro & Cellar Door, which is host to a number boutique Adelaide Hills wineries who do not have their own cellar door. The Bistro & Cellar Door offers a relaxing, comfortable and friendly location for a lazy afternoon of indulgence.