Business With Purpose
Committed to putting the Barossa on the world stage
The Louise – the birthplace of the Luxury Lodges collaboration – was founded in 2005 by Jim and Helen Carreker, who set out to build a destination restaurant and lodge that was deeply connected to the Barossa region, its producers and the environment.
They created Appellation, one of Australia’s premier restaurants, in what is recognised as one of the world’s leading wine and food regions. The ethos always concentrated on sourcing the highest quality, naturally grown, local ingredients.
The Louise’s philosophy of ‘committed luxury’ is centred on a vision of developing and supporting The Barossa region of South Australia as an international culinary tourism destination.
This approach was a natural fit for Baillie Lodges, which purchased the property in 2021 and has re-opened it after a multi-million-dollar refurbishment, stamping the Baillie Lodges imprimatur on its 15 luxury suites and its renowned dining experiences.
“Key to Baillie Lodges’ operations is an active engagement with local communities through supplier relationships, supporting local charities and providing employment opportunities. This is especially important at The Louise, which is centred in a very supportive, creative and close-knit community,” said The Louise General Manager Sonya Smith.
“We’ve embraced the Carrekers’ belief that The Louise exists to add value for our guests, employees, our local community and to the sustainable environment of the planet.”
Environmental, cultural and economic sustainability of a region
This commitment to environmental and community sustainability in its broadest sense informs everything at The Louise.
The Barossa’s German early settlers established food and wine traditions - and a resourcefulness - that inspire The Louise’s culinary practices today.
Around 85 per cent of the food and wine on the Appellation menu comes from within South Australia – and the majority of that from within 30km of the kitchen door, including seasonal fruits and vegetables from the restaurant’s own kitchen garden. This focus on ‘local local local’ not only reduces carbon emissions but pro-vides reliable and significant income for local growers, producers and family-owned businesses.
“Breakfast might include a sourdough crumpet from Mehl bakery, topped with hon-ey produced by students at Nurioopta High School. We have great relationships with dozens of local purveyors, including cheese and chocolate makers, meat producers, the best produce growers… and the Contour bar features limited releases from local up-and-coming winemakers,” said Sonya Smith.
“The experience of tasting all this wonderful food and wine sourced completely locally helps our guests to connect with the living culture of the Barossa.”
All produce is non-GMO and from producers practising traditional, sustainable green methods of farming, drawing particularly from organic or biodynamic meth-ods.
The Appellation culinary team smoke their own fish, forage for wild greens and pick-le the excess harvest from the kitchen garden. They bake sourdough bread using locally milled flour – and even carbonate their own rainwater.
Virtually nothing is wasted: whole beasts are broken down to provide fine cuts, smallgoods, stocks and sauces. All wet waste from the kitchen is composted and converted to rich fertiliser for the kitchen garden, which in turn provides the highest quality produce for the table, at its peak nutritional ripeness.
Baillie Lodges – in keeping with its approach to art and design at other properties – is continuing The Louise’ tradition of supporting local artists, commissioning works from the JamFactory and local artists such as Emma Hack, Renee De Saxe and Janelle Amos, which take centre stage in guest areas.
Meaningful connection to community
While a key focus is on exposing guests to authentic regional flavours, the ‘committed luxury’ principle extends beyond the kitchen and borders of the property. Guests are actively encouraged to connect with the local environment, producers and artisans through delightful experiences such as breakfasting with wild kangaroos, meeting boutique and start-up winemakers, and hiking or cycling through native bushland.
With roots firmly embedded in the local community, The Louise is a significant contributor to the thriving Barossa community, economy and natural habitat.
Other sustainability initiatives (Our mandatories):
- South Australia is the driest state in the driest continent in the world. Water conservation and recycling is an imperative for all who live there. The Louise is invested in a world-class water management system, centred on rainwater catchment and recycling.
- Water served at The Louise is filtered, collected rainwater. For sparkling water, the restaurant carbonates the filtered rainwater, not relying on imported bottled water, thus reducing landfill and carbon emissions.
- A waste water treatment plant has been installed to recycle all waste water from the property to maintain the grounds and gardens, which have been landscaped almost exclusively with indigenous plants. All irrigation is subsurface and virtually eliminates water wastage.
- There are no more plastic straws at The Louise. Reusable stainless-steel straws have been introduced across the entire property.
- Paper and glass recycling is practised throughout the property.
- The Louise employs 45 members of the local community. It also actively supports business associates such as the Barossa Wine Show, the Marananga Wine Show, and Seppeltsfield Road Business Alliance.
- As a further way to help ensure the economic sustainability of the region, The Louise has a stated policy of working exclusively with local builders and tradespeople, and of recruiting lodge staff from the region as a first preference.
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