Winery Reviews


Winery Reviews

Esk Valley Hawkes Bay

Esk Valley wines are made by Gordon Russell and are deserving of a separate entry (also see VILLA MARIA). The outstanding wine is The Terraces, a blend of Malbec, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Made only in top vintages, it is a rich, intense and powerful Hawkes Bay red and the group’s finest wine (recent vintages […]

Woodside Valley Estate Margaret River

The Gunyulgup Valley near Yallingup is at the northern end of the Margaret River region. Here an exceptional new project is unfolding. Contrary to the accepted wisdom, the vines have been planted on south-facing slopes rather than the usual north-facing slopes. Production is currently around 1,000 cases, with 5,000 the eventual aim. Four varietals are […]

Woodlands Wines Margaret River

In a remarkably short period of time, Woodlands has firmly established itself in the uppermost echelon of Margaret River Cabernet producers, alongside CULLEN and MOSS WOOD. The secret to its success? Like Cullen and Moss Wood, the 11ha vineyard is based in Wilyabrup which, with its high gravel content, is regarded as the Pauillac of […]

Craggy Range Winery Hawkes Bay

This winery is named for the Craggy Range in Hawkes Bay’s Tukituki Valley, a stunning new winery complex has been built to process grapes from a patchwork of outstanding vineyard sites split between Hawkes Bay, Martinborough and Marlborough. Direction comes from viticultural expert Steve Smith, who established a reputation while providing high-quality fruit for VILLA […]

Moss Wood Winery Margaret River

The Mugfords have owned this very fine, small 12 ha Margaret River estate (founded by Bill Pannell of PICARDY in 1969) since 1984. Prior to that, Keith Mugford had been making the wines, making his first vintage at Moss Wood in 1979. The Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the very finest in the region – […]

Howard Park Wines Denmark

Barely more than a decade ago, this substantial operation with wineries in Denmark in the Great Southern and at Margaret River was a small, high quality label with just a Riesling and Cabernet-based red produced in small quantities by John Wade while he was winemaker at PLANTAGENET. There are now over 100 ha of estate […]

Harewood Estate Denmark

James Kellie has set the Great Southern alight like no one else since his first vintage in 04. Previously the fruit here was sold to the likes of HOWARD PARK where Kellie formerly worked. There is excellent quality across the range and that particularly remarkable quality/price ratio (especially in Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon) that WA […]

Cullen Wines Margaret River

The Cullen’s Margaret River winery has a long tradition of excellence and now produces around 20,000 cases per year from 28ha of well-established estate vineyards (certified organic). Made by Vanya Cullen, the wines are marked by their finesse, superior structure and complexity, putting Cullen in a different class to most of its neighbours. Certified biodynamic […]

Cape Mentelle Wine Margaret River

Cape Mentelle has a lower profile than sister winery CLOUDY BAY in New Zealand but has a similar reputation for quality thanks to the effortsof founder David Hohnen, who ran operations until 2003 when he was succeeded by the widely respected Dr Tony Jordan, who himself moved on in 2008. A young winemaking team headed […]

Keith Tulloch Wine Hunter Valley

An experienced Hunter Valley winemaker with stints at LINDEMANS and Rothbury Estate under hisbelt, Keith Tulloch now makes wine under his own name. Production is very small with only a few hundred cases of each wine in the first vintages but the wines are undoubtedly a fine distillation of Tulloch’s experience. They seem handmade in […]

Tyrrell’s Wines Hunter Valley

This family-owned and run winery dates back to 1858 and makes an extensive range of wines, around half a million cases even after the recent sale of the Long Flat brand. The top wines are the Winemakers Selection (Vat numbered) series. The bold, powerful and complex Vat 47 has been one of Australia’s great Chardonnays […]

Philip Shaw Wines Orange

Philip Shaw, once ROSEMOUNT’s almost legendary winemaker, has long owned and developed a vineyard of his own. He purchased the 47 ha Koomooloo vineyard on the slopes of Mount Canobolas back in 1988 but only released the first wines under his own label with the 2004 vintage, having sold off the grapes or made wines […]

De Bortoli Wines Riverina

De Bortoli’s Riverina operation is a vast winery based in the Riverina near Griffith. Output is around 4.5 million cases a year and almost all is accounted for by bulk-market labels. The majority of the fine wine output is accounted for at the Yarra Valley winery (see DE BORTOLI Victoria). Riverina budget labels include Vat […]

Clonakilla (Canberra District)

❁ Clonakilla (Canberra District) www.clonakilla.com.au Kirk family Crisps Lane, Murrumbateman, NSW 2582 Tel: 02 6227 5877 Fax: 02 6227 5871 Tim Kirk is realising the potential first developed by his father Dr John Kirk, an Australian research scientist of Irish descent. The vineyard is gradually being expanded from the current 6 ha and Kirk is […]

Brokenwood (Hunter Valley)

❁ Brokenwood (Hunter Valley) www.brokenwood.com.au Brokenwood Wines McDonalds Road, Pokolbin, NSW 2320 Tel: 02 4998 7559 Fax: 02 4998 7893 A benchmark Lower Hunter winery, Brokenwood was established in 1970 by a number of partners including former lawyer and wine writer James Halliday. Production has grown to a not inconsiderable 100,000 cases a year, partly […]

Yarra Yering (Yarra Valley)

❁ Yarra Yering (Yarra Valley) www.yarrayering.com Yarra Yering partnership Briarty Rd, Gruyere, VIC 3770 Tel: 03 5964 9267 Fax: 03 5964 9239 At times considered eccentric by some of his neighbours, the late Bailey Carrodus produced a remarkable array of very good to exceptional wines even if on occasion the results have been variable. The […]

Ten Minutes by Tractor (Mornington Peninsula)

❁ Ten Minutes by Tractor (Mornington Peninsula) www.tenminutesbytractor.com.au Martin Spedding 1333 Mornington-Flinders Road, Main Ridge, VIC 3928 Tel: 03 5967 1428 Fax: 03 5967 1146 Ten Minutes by Tractor derives its name from three vineyards, each owned by (and named after) the founding families and located 10 minutes apart from each other. In 2004, businessman […]

Shadowfax (Geelong)

❁ Shadowfax (Geelong) www.shadowfax.com.au Mansion group K Road, Werribee, VIC 3030 Tel: 03 9731 4420 Fax: 03 9731 4421 Shadowfax (a name taken from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings) established in 2000, is an exciting operation based in Werribee Park between Melbourne and Geelong. Sourcing small parcels of the best grapes from a number of […]

Paringa Estate (Mornington Peninsula)

❁ Paringa Estate (Mornington Peninsula) www.paringaestate.com.au Lindsay & Margaret McCall 44 Paringa Rd, Red Hill South, VIC 3937 Tel: 03 5989 2669 Fax: 03 5931 0135 Top-notch small estate now producing upwards of 15,000 cases annually. McCall is a Burgundy fan and aims to make well structured, ageworthy wines. What is most remarkable about Paringa […]

Mount Langi Ghiran (Grampians)

❁ Mount Langi Ghiran (Grampians) www.langi.com.au Rathbone family group Warrak Road, Buangor, VIC 3375 Tel: 03 5354 3207 Fax: 03 5354 3277 This dynamic, go-ahead organic vineyard (now totalling 90 ha) and winery operation owes its reputation to winemaker the late Trevor Mast. It has recently come under the same ownership as top Yarra Valley […]

Moorooduc Estate (Mornington Peninsula)

❁ Moorooduc Estate (Mornington Peninsula) www.moorooducestate.com.au Richard & Jill McIntyre 501 Derril Road, Moorooduc, VIC 3936 Tel: 03 5971 8506 Fax: 03 5971 8506 Moorooduc Estate in northerly Mornington Peninsula was established in 1981 by Richard and Jill McIntyre, who planted the McIntyre vineyard in 1983, mainly to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (with a small […]

Mac Forbes (Yarra Valley/Strathbogie Ranges)

❁ Mac Forbes (Yarra Valley/Strathbogie Ranges) www.macforbes.com Mac Forbes 3 Osborne Court, Hawthorn, Vic 3122 Tel: 03 9818 8099 Fax: 03 9818 8299 Before setting up his eponymous label, Mac Forbes’ CV included stints in the Yarra Valley at Mount Mary and in Europe, including Austria, where he still makes wine. Unsurprising then that his […]

Kooyong (Mornington Peninsula)

❁ Kooyong (Mornington Peninsula) www.portphillipestate.com.au Giorgio & Dianne Gjergja PO Box 153, Red Hill South, VIC 3937 Tel: 03 5989 7355 Fax: 03 5989 7677 This newish Mornington Peninsula winery, located in the warmer north of the peninsula on low vigour sandy clay soils, is one of its largest with 34 ha of vineyard to […]

House of Arras (Tasmania)

❁ House of Arras (Tasmania) www.houseofarras.com.au Constellation 40 Baxters Road, Pipers River, TAS 7252 Tel: 03 6382 7622 Fax: 03 6382 7225 Though House of Arras wines are made at HARDYS’ McLaren Vale winery, where Constellation’s sparkling wine supremo Edd Carr is based, the fruit for Constellation’s flagship sparkling brand is rigorously sourced from Tasmania, […]

Jasper Hill (Heathcote)

❁ Jasper Hill (Heathcote) www.jasperhill.com Ron Laughton Drummonds Lane, Heathcote VIC 3523 Tel: 03 5433 2528 Fax: 03 5433 3143 The production here is small and the wines can be very difficult to track down but it is worth the effort. As with the finest producers in the northern Rhône, the approach is one of […]

Giant Steps (Yarra Valley)

❁ Giant Steps (Yarra Valley) www.innocentbystander.com.au Sexton family 336 Maroondah Highway, PO Box 1479, Healesville VIC 3777 Tel: 03 5962 6111 Fax: 03 5962 6199 Phil Sexton it seems has a thing about Chardonnay. More than 20 years ago he established Devil’s Lair in the Margaret River and soon produced a leading example. In 1997 […]

Giaconda (Beechworth)

❁❁ Giaconda (Beechworth) www.giaconda.com.au Rick Kinzbrunner McClay Rd, Beechworth, VIC 3747 Tel: 03 5727 0246 Fax: 03 5727 0246 Production here remains small at around 2,500 cases per year, although the 3 ha vineyards planted in the 1980s have now doubled in size thanks to more recent plantings. A small amount of wine is exported […]

By Farr (Geelong)

❁ By Farr (Geelong) www.byfarr.com.au Gary Farr Midland Highway, Bannockburn, VIC 3331 Tel: 03 5281 1979 Fax: 03 5281 1979 In 1999 Gary Farr released four new varietals from 4.8 ha of his own vineyards adjacent to BANNOCKBURN. Initially the wines were known as Bannockburn by Farr but are now simply By Farr. The wines […]

Eldridge Estate (Geelong)

❁ Eldridge Estate (Geelong) www.eldridge-estate.com.au David & Wendy Lloyd Midland Highway, Bannockburn, VIC 3331 Tel: 03 5281 1979 Fax: 03 5281 1979 In 1995, David & Wendy Lloyd acquired Eldridge Estate. The vineyard, originally planted in 1984, is located on a north facing slope at 225 metres above sea level on rich terra rossa volcanic […]

William Downie (Victoria)

❁ William Downie (Victoria) www.williamdownie.com.au William Downie 121 Yarragon South Road, Yarragon, VIC 3823 Tel: 03 5634 2216 Fax: 03 5634 2216 William (Bill) Downie established his eponymous label in 2003. His passion is Pinot Noir and he makes no less than three from the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula and Gippsland in Victoria, where he […]

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