The following Heathcote wineries are each owned and run by families, who are immensely proud of the wines they create from the fruit that grows in their region’s rich Cambrian soils.
Step into family-owned Condie Estate’s rustic cellar door and chances are you’ll find winemaker Richie Condie pouring their small-batch wines. Whether it’s Richie, Rosanne or someone else from the small team behind the tasting counter here, you can sample from the range of wines while learning about their traditional approach to winemaking. Sourced from two organically grown vineyards, which lie north and south of Heathcote, the fruit gets handpicked, then goes through open fermenters and gets hand-plunged and basket-pressed, before maturing in a range of formats. Established in 2001, this winery is known for its concentrated wines that are true reflections of the Heathcote region.
Perfect for: a personalised tasting experience with the winemaker, and a look inside the barrel room at this property that overlooks Wild Duck Creek.
On pour: viognier, rosé, sangiovese and shiraz.
condie.com.au | 480 Heathcote-Redesdale Rd, Heathcote
Wine has long been in the Hunter family, who own and run Heathcote’s Sanguine Estate – their great-great-grandfather Pietro D’Orsa emigrated from Italy in the 1860s with vines that he planted in nearby Maldon. Today, with Mark Hunter behind the wines, the family continues that legacy at their relaxed cellar door, where visitors can enjoy tastings in the barrel room. The family loves to share stories of their wines, as well as of Pietro, at their state-of-the-art gravity-fed winery. They also host a number of events at Sanguine Estate throughout the year, including a chamber music festival, a blending session for wine club members and more.
Perfect for: dog owners – it’s pet-friendly – and for savouring trophy-winning wine while overlooking the gardens and vines in the ancient Cambrian soils.
On pour: chardonnay, rosé, grenache, cabernets, shiraz.
sanguinewines.com.au | 77 Shurans Lane, Heathcote
The Shelmerdine family was among the first wave of producers to revive the Heathcote wine region in the 1990s, and today they cultivate two distinguished vineyards. Merindoc is in southern Heathcote on sweeping granite-strewn slopes, while Willoughby Bridge lies on the famous 500-million-year old red soils of northern Heathcote. The friendly Merindoc Cellar Door and Wine Room showcases their estate-grown wines in tutored flights and informal tastings, with platters of local produce also offered, including seasonal ingredients from their own kitchen garden. Expect aromatic whites with good minerality, to reds that span fine-grained to medium-weighted styles, and richer expressions ranging from traditional varieties to Spanish and Portuguese.
Perfect for: settling in for country views and hospitality, with the timber-lined cellar door a former farm shed, now with a wood-fired oven and granite fireplace.
On pour: riesling, viognier, chardonnay, albarino, pinot grigio, vermentino, sparkling and sparkling shiraz, grenache, rosé, sangiovese, tempranillo, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon.
merindoc.com.au | 2905 Lancefield-Tooborac Rd, Tooborac
Find everything you need to know about Heathcote in our essential guide.
*Wineries pay to be a part of this feature.