Est 2002

The Pawn Wine Co. is not driven by regal ambition, but a strong resolve to rescue unique grape varieties from becoming lost as blending tools in the corporate wine game.

I started the Pawn’s passionate moves to rebel against the trend, by realising the potential of alternative wine styles and allowing them to shine within the wine industry.

By staying small and hands-on, I can continue my crusade to create uniquely handcrafted, artisinal wines from the cool climate of the                                    Adelaide Hills and Langhorne Creek.         TK


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The vineyards have an intensive landscape of hills, valleys and flats. This complex landscape creates an infinite array of micro-climates that I match to varieties to produce wines with complex and refined flavour profiles.

The El Desperado Whites and Rose’s clever design changes with the temperature of the wine, the thermal label technology
indicates this wine’s ideal drinking temperature when chilled at 16ºC


Élevage is the French term for the progression of wines from adolescence to maturity, under attentive winemaking. Wines only spend a short time aging in fine French, American and Hungarian barriques in my barrel shed.



m above sea level

The coastal effect – the southern end of the Adelaide Hills and Langhorne Creek have enormous variation between the high daytime temperatures and a low night-time temperatures during the ripening period. This variation has an amazing effect on the grapes, producing high acid and a high sugar content, as the exposure to sunlight increases the ripening qualities, while the sudden drop in temperature at night preserves the balance of natural acids in the grape.

Another shared aspect of the terroir on the vineyards is that the soil makes up a mere 5 percent of the lands soil spectrum. South Australia have some of the oldest soils in the world and in the hills consists of shattered iron stone,  while down in the creek – deep alluvial, self mulching clays,  providing the perfect balance of drainage and moisture retention.

The vineyards are situated in Macclesfield and Langhorne Creek, on the southern end of the Adelaide Hills. The influence of Lake Alexandrina shapes all that I do, with cooling lake winds passing through as the Lake Dr at around 5pm in the Creek, and about an hour later in Maccy.

Winter is cold and wet, but all the vines are hand pruned to ensure that they are balanced for the season ahead and only produce the finest of grapes.

The number of chilling hours required by grapes is about 150 chilling hours. This is much less than required by other fruits in the Adelaide Hills such as cherries which need up to 800 hours of chilling.


The Pawn Wine Co.

The pawn (♙♟) is the most numerous piece in the game of chess, and in most circumstances, also the weakest. The Pawn Wine Co represents all the small, artisanal, family owned wineries who often feel like just pawns in the global Wine game. We the small, boutique producers are sometimes perceived to be a sacrificial part of the wine industry by the corporate giants, but beware….The game can be won by the seemingly insignificant Pawn.

There would be no game of chess if the Pawns refused to play.



The vineyards utilise best practice environmentally sustainable principles and are members of the Sustainable Australia Winegrowers (SAW) Program, ENTWINE and accredited under Freshcare.

I started the Pawn to be strongly Independent and support the small guys across our industry. If you are finding it hard to sometimes find my wines, that’s because I am fiercely vindependent. Shop at your local independent retailer and ask for my wines there !    TK

The folds and undulations of the vineyards in the Adelaide Hills and Langhorne Creek create a wide range of mesoclimates. In seeking and exploiting these climatic differences, the vineyards tend to be small in area and planted to soil type and aspect.

All my grapes are estate grown, all my wines are handmade in house, all my stories are real. I grow wines that faithfully express the terroir in the Adelaide Hills and Langhorne Creek.     TK