Wineries to visit: November

19 Nov, 2021

This month, we bring you 12 great wineries to check out, from the Hunter Valley to Kangaroo Island, the Mornington Peninsula and beyond.

New South Wales

Audrey Wilkinson – Hunter Valley, NSW

Pictured 1/6

Audrey Wilkinson is one of the most historic and beautiful properties in the Hunter Valley, known for its stunning views and pristine vineyards. It was the first vineyard planted in Pokolbin, in 1866. The property was acquired in 2004 by the late Brian Agnew and has been owned and operated by his family since. The wines, made predominantly from estate-grown grapes, are released in 3 tiers: Audrey Wilkinson Series, Winemakers Selection and Reserve, the latter only available from the cellar door. Exports to the US, Canada, UK, Finland and Czech Republic.

5 winery | | Halliday profile

Poole's Rock – Hunter Valley, NSW

Pictured 2/6

Cockfighter’s Ghost and Poole’s Rock were founded in 1988 by the late David Clarke OAM, and acquired by the Agnew family in 2011 (who also own the neighbouring Audrey Wilkinson). The brands have kept separate identities, but are made at the same winery. The Cockfighter’s Ghost white wines are sourced from key growers in the Adelaide Hills, the red wines entirely from the Agnew family’s Chairman’s Vineyard in Blewitt Springs, made by Xanthe Hatcher. Jeff Byrne continues overseeing Poole’s Rock, with Chardonnay, Semillon and Shiraz from the Hunter Valley and also some small-batch wines including Pinot Noir from Tasmania. Exports to the US and Canada.

4.5 winery | | Halliday profile

Orange Mountain – Orange, NSW

Pictured 3/6

Having established the business back in 1997, Terry Dolle made the decision to sell the Manildra Vineyard in 2009. He now makes wine from small parcels of hand-picked fruit, using an old basket press and barrel maturation. These are in principle all single vineyard wines reflecting the terroir of Orange.

3.5 winery | | Halliday profile

Peppergreen Estate – Southern Highlands, NSW

Pictured 4/6

Established in 2016 with a cellar door in the bucolic Southern Highlands town of Berrima, Peppergreen Estate's proprietary vineyard is tucked away in nearby Canyonleigh at 700m elevation, complete with olive oil processing and a high-quality restaurant that serves ‘modern French’ cuisine. Pinot noir, shiraz, riesling and chardonnay are all grown on the estate’s holdings as the owners endeavour to appropriate ideal grape varieties to the cool climate of the region, while acknowledging the encroaching influence of global warming. As it stands, the traditionally crafted sparkling wines show promise, having spent extended time on lees to impart a toasty complexity and creamy generosity to the twang of the cooler zone.

3.5 winery | | Halliday profile

Printhie Wines – Orange, NSW

Pictured 5/6

Owned by the Swift family. Brothers Edward and David took over from their parents Jim and Ruth Swift in the early 2000s. Together the family have clocked up almost 20 years of commercial wine production and the vineyards are now reaching a good level of maturity at 25 years. The 32ha of estate vineyards are planted at varying elevations between 630 and 1000m above sea level. Winemaker Drew Tuckwell has been at Printhie since 2007 and has over 20 years of winemaking experience in Australia and Europe. Exports to Singapore, Canada and the Philippines.

5 winery | | Halliday profile

RidgeView Wines – Hunter Valley, NSW

Pictured 6/6

Darren and Tracey Scott have transformed a 40ha timbered farm into a vineyard with selfcontained accommodation and a cellar door. The greater part of the plantings are 4.5ha of shiraz; cabernet sauvignon, chambourcin, merlot, pinot gris, viognier and traminer, making up a somewhat eclectic selection of other varieties.

5 winery | | Halliday profile

South Australia

Bay of Shoals – Kangaroo Island, SA

Pictured 1/5

John Willoughby’s vineyard overlooks the Bay of Shoals, which is the northern boundary of Kingscote, Kangaroo Island’s main town. Planting of the vineyard began in 1994 and it now comprises riesling, sauvignon blanc, savagnin, pinot gris, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz. In addition, 460 olive trees have been planted to produce table olives.

4 winery | | Halliday profile

Koonowla – Clare Valley, SA

Pictured 2/5

Koonowla is an historic Clare Valley property situated just east of Auburn. It was first planted with vines in the 1890s and by the early 1900s was producing around a quarter of a million litres of wine annually. A disastrous fire in 1926 destroyed the winery and wine stocks, and the property converted to grain and wool production. Replanting of vines began in ’85 and accelerated in the early ’90s. Purchased by the George family in September 2019 – led by Nick George and his son Alex – wines are now made at Tapanappa by Con Moshos. Exports to the UK, Scandinavia, Vietnam, Malaysia, China and NZ.

3.5 winery | | Halliday profile

Pindarie Wines – Barossa Valley, SA

Pictured 3/5

Owners Tony Brooks and Wendy Allan met at Roseworthy College in 1985. Tony was the sixth generation of farmers in SA and WA, and was studying agriculture; NZ-born Wendy was studying viticulture. On graduation Tony worked overseas managing sheep feedlots in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Jordan; Wendy worked for the next 12 years with Penfolds, commencing as a grower liaison officer and working her way up to become a senior viticulturist. She also found time to study viticulture in California, Israel, Italy, Germany, France, Portugal, Spain and Chile, working vintages and assessing vineyards for wine projects. In 2001 she completed a graduate diploma in wine business. The cellar door and the Grain Store cafe (winner of Australian tourism awards in ’13 and ’14 as well as Hall of fame for SA Tourism) has panoramic views. Exports to Taiwan and Singapore.

4.5 winery | | Halliday profile

Purple Hands Wines – Barossa Valley, SA

Pictured 4/5

This is a partnership between Craig Stansborough, who provides the winemaking know-how and a 14ha vineyard of shiraz (northwest of Williamstown in a cooler corner of the southern Barossa), and Mark Slade, who provides the passion. Don’t ask me (James) how this works – I don’t know – but I do know they are producing outstanding single-vineyard wines (the grenache is contract-grown) of quite remarkable elegance. The wines are made at Illaparra winery, where Craig was chief winemaker for Grant Burge for over 25 years. Exports to the UK, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

5 winery | | Halliday profile

Sidewood Estate – Adelaide Hills, SA

Pictured 5/5

Sidewood Estate was established in 2004. It is owned by Owen and Cassandra Inglis who operate it as a winery and cidery. Situated in the Onkaparinga Valley, the vines weather the cool climate of the Adelaide Hills. Significant expenditure on regeneration of the vineyards was already well underway when Sidewood invested over $12 million in the expansion of the winery, increasing capacity from 500t to 2000t each vintage and implementing sustainable improvements including 100kW solar panels, water treatment works and insulation for the winery. The expansion includes new bottling and canning facilities capable of handling 6 million bottles of wine and cider annually. A multimillion-dollar restaurant, cellar door and cidery was opened in 2020. Wines are released under the Sidewood Estate, Stablemate and Mappinga labels. Exports to the UK, the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Thailand, Vanuatu, Singapore, Japan and China.

5 winery | | Halliday profile


Hillcrest Vineyard – Yarra Valley, VIC

Pictured 1/3

The small, effectively dry-grown vineyard was established by Graeme and Joy Sweet, and is now owned by Shirley Zhang and family. The high quality pinot noir, chardonnay, merlot and cabernet sauvignon grown on the property were particularly important resources when Coldstream Hills was in its infancy. Exports to China.

4 winery | | Halliday profile

Pt Leo Estate – Mornington Peninsula, VIC

Pictured 2/3

Pt. Leo Estate is owned by one of Australia’s wealthiest families, headed by octogenarian John Gandel and wife Pauline. They have donated countless millions of dollars to charity, and 30 years ago they purchased 20ha of land on the wild side of the Mornington Peninsula, building several houses for the exclusive use of family. Over the ensuing years they added parcels of land, created a lake at the entrance of the property, and in 2006 planted a 20ha vineyard. It is now also the site of a major sculpture park, populated by some very large pieces, and many smaller. A cellar door and restaurant opened in October ’17. A 2nd fine dining restaurant, Laura, opened in March ’18. Both restaurants are managed by Ainslie Lubbock (ex Attica and The Royal Mail Hotel), with chef Phil Wood (ex Rockpool) and head sommelier Andrew Murch (ex Rockpool and Stokehouse).

4 winery | | Halliday profile

TarraWarra Estate – Yarra Valley, VIC

Pictured 3/3

TarraWarra is, and always has been, one of the top-tier wineries in the Yarra Valley. Founded by Marc Besen AC and wife Eva Besen AO, it has operated on the basis that quality is paramount, cost a secondary concern. The creation of the TarraWarra Museum of Art ( in a purpose-built building provides another reason to visit; indeed, many visitors come specifically to look at the ever-changing displays in the Museum. Changes in the vineyard include the planting of shiraz and merlot, and in the winery, the creation of a 4-tier range: a deluxe MDB label made in tiny quantities and only when the vintage permits; the single-vineyard range; a Reserve range; and the 100% estate-grown varietal range. Exports to France, Vietnam and China.

5 winery | | Halliday profile