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FEATURE LISTING: Luxurious Clare Valley escape

Kirrihill Wines co-owner Matt Lawson and his family are selling their historic stone cottage which they have transformed into a luxurious modern home with five bedrooms and a swimming pool, all overlooking the property’s premium vineyards.

It was a dramatic series of events that led Matt and his family to move their lives from Adelaide to Clare, where they purchased a vineyard – at first.

“We basically dropped two incomes, doubled our mortgage, bought a vineyard and had a baby,” says Matt.

Matt says that when they purchased the vineyard on the northern boundary of the property in 2003, he pondered life in a historic stone dwelling located nearby.

Although he lived in Adelaide at the time, Matt travelled to Clare regularly and he could envisage transforming the stone cottage into a nice family home.

“I’d always looked at that house on top of the hill from the vineyard and I always thought, if that ever comes up for sale, I’d love to have a look and if it suited, I’d buy it,” he says.

“We met with the people up there and it just felt right.”

The Lawsons have completely transformed 28 Craig Hill Road, Clare, to suit modern family living, with a large extension on the western and northern sides built by SJM Builders.

Situated on a 39.46-hectare plot, this five-bedroom house now includes an open plan kitchen, a lounge, a dining room, a laundry, a personal gym, a large carport and a master bedroom with a walk-in wardrobe and ensuite.

The land is split over three titles including the house block and two vineyards planted with shiraz and riesling, supplying top labels including Kilikanoon and Penfolds.

Matt says it was important to respect the heritage of the cottage located on a street that bears the name of its former owner.

The original four-room cottage was built in the 1870s by Scotsman Archibald Craig using stone quarried from the property by horse and cart.

Among the historic features that the Lawsons have kept include the original outhouse, which has been converted into a guest bedroom, while the old tack room is now an office.

“Above the cellar is a massive slate slab which has got a big curve in it, which apparently is where they used to sharpen their knives,” says Matt.

“The history is another reason why we love the house.”

Stepping outside onto the large northern-side deck, you can have a splash in the 12×4 metre pool, one of Matt’s favourite features.

“The views and the serenity of the water, right next to the scrub, it’s just beautiful and serene,” says Matt.

In winter, Matt also loves “sitting in front of the fire, with a good glass of red and a book”.

Although Matt says it will be very difficult to leave, they are looking to move closer to Adelaide where their children now live. He says they also plan to spend more time at their shack on the River Murray.

“I look around the house and there’s a lot of the house we’re not using now,” says Matt.

“So, it’s time for a new family to make it theirs and put their stamp on it.”

Matt says he will miss the serenity of the property and catching up with good friends in the area.

“It’s 95 acres – there are so many good places to walk and just get away and enjoy nature, but in literally two minutes you can be in a cafe on the main street of Clare,” he says.

“It is a great place to get away, but you can have civilisation if you want it.”

The sale of 28 Craig Hill Road, Clare is being handled by Mark O’Meagher and Lauren Ferme from Ray White.