Don and Jo Hearn met in London in 1992, and after several years travelling around the world, they returned to Australia with nothing but a backpack full of dirty clothes and two Turkish rugs. They arrived at the 445ha Hearn family farming property, decided to build a house and set up their own farming enterprise. Don had studied criminology and legal psychology at university, so the plan had limited appeal to the family members, but they (Don and Jo) were given an 8h block to establish their proposed vineyard and winery. Over the ensuing years they planted 3ha each of semillon and merlot, plus shiraz, sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay. The plan was to sell the grapes, but the idea of making wine took hold. Jo undertook a 1-year BRIT course in winemaking, and after an initial vintage in the carport, she and Don designed a very small, underground winemaking facility and cellar door. Jo began with small amounts for consumption by family and friends, and as she gained experience, the capacity of the winery increased to 1.5-tonne lots, and by '13 Jo was processing 5 tonnes of grapes, selling the remaining 40 tonnes. The plan is to travel to France for a vintage, and also to move towards organic certification of the vineyard.
Visit Restdown Wines for a great day out in the country! The purpose-built underground winery provides the perfect atmosphere for sampling latest release wines; the renowned merlot, Provencale-style rosé or vivacious semillon. If you have time, why not indulge in a Ploughman’s Platter, featuring gourmet local produce sourced from within 100km of the winery.
The Restdown wetland walking trail was established in 2008 around an ephemeral rehabilitated wetland. It attracts bird watchers and nature lovers from far and wide, with the chance to spot rare and endangered species like the Superb Parrot, Bush-Stone Curlew, flocks of Cockatiels and Grey-Crowned Babblers. The self-guided tour features local indigenous and pastoral history, environmental awareness and a chance to soak up the sights and sounds of the bush.
As Restdown is a working farm, please phone ahead and speak to Jo or Don to arrange your visit. Bookings are essential for Ploughman's Platters.