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Australian wineries delivered to your door!

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Wine

Celebrating Christmas with Brown Brothers

We recently caught up with Ross Brown from the iconic Brown Brothers to talk Prosecco and Christmas.

Your Brown Brothers Vintage Release Single Vineyard Prosecco 2014 is our Wine of the Month for December – what makes it so special for this time of the year (or anytime really)?

Sparkling wine is all about celebration with friends and Prosecco is the new exciting fashion for Sparkling. It’s fine, zesty, dry and refreshing and just perfect for those lazy summer days.

Brown Brothers has over 126 years of history in Australian winemaking and family is obviously very important to you. How is your family planning on spending this Christmas?

Having all the immediate family around the Christmas dinner table is mandatory, but just a bit more complex this year, as Emma our youngest daughter is living in Napa Valley, California. We have all made a commitment to be in Mammoth Mountain, a ski town for Christmas. We will go by the local market and buy oysters and salmon for entree and duck for mains. My wife Judy's confit of duck recipe is a family legend.

What wines will your family be enjoying over Christmas?

This year as Emma is hosting, she's sourcing the wines with the brief to surprise us with the best of California, especially Pinot for the duck.

Can you remember the first wine you ever tried?

No, not really. There was always wine on the dinner table, and I was always allowed to taste, as long as I described the taste and aroma. It was no big deal as wine and food was a natural.

When did you fall in love with wine?

Growing up in the 1960s drinking wine socially was a risky business – real men drank beer! In the 1970s wine became fashionable and I had lots of friends curious about what wine I had brought to the party. I guess that was when I fell in love but not only with the wine.

It’s a tough question, but do you have a favourite wine or varietal?

When I'm asked which is my favourite wine, my reply invariably is the "next one".
In truth Riesling is my favourite white varietal – the flavour dimensions are remarkable with lean and minerally Tasmanian styles through to rich, ripe and generous Noble Riesling.

With reds I'm fascinated with Pinot Noir. For me it’s about the silken texture – fine and powerful and so reflective of the vineyard. It matches so many different foods and I'm already thinking about that duck for Christmas.

What is your favourite wine memory?

This is an impossible question as my entire life has been wine. I have been just so fortunate to grow up in a thriving family business, based in beautiful North East Victoria, and to share a wine and food lifestyle with so many wonderful people.

Having dinner with friends and finding that gem that has remained hidden in the cellar for far too long, and it opens fabulously, along with a flood of memories around the year the wine was made, is the ultimate Saturday night filled with lots of laughs and short memories!

How do you spend your time when you’re not making wine?

With my daughter Katherine now winemaking, I'm delighted to run away and admire her good work, especially knowing she has the best mentors in the world.

Judy and I love the ‘hunting and gathering’ lifestyle, we are crazy about fishing and love Tasmania. There we can catch crayfish, calamari, and flat head or fly fish for trout all in one day, and if it's a really tough day, fit in a game of golf just for the frustration.

For me seeing another generation, my three daughters, excited and totally engaged in the wine business is the greatest reward, especially if they find a great Riesling and Pinot for Christmas dinner and don't forget the Prosecco!

What is your choice at Christmas:

Carols by Candlelight – love them or loathe them? A must on Christmas Eve. 
Sparkling Shiraz, Champagne or both? Prosecco is the new Champagne.
Plum pudding, pavlova or trifle? Depends on the age of the Noble Riesling.
Turkey, glazed ham or seafood? Seafood, seafood and more seafood.
Christmas lunch or dinner? Don't know the difference as it starts around 11am and goes on and on....
Boxing Day recovery? This calls for exercise and this year given a white Christmas, we will all be skiing probably until lunch.

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Five of the Best Mornington Peninsula Wineries and Cellar Doors
Exceptional  Pinot Gris ,  Chardonnay ,  Pinot Noir , and boutique cellar doors abound as we present the best Mornington Peninsula wineries to visit. Just an hour drive from the centre of Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula has long been known as the home of beaches, colourful swimming boxes and holiday houses. Since the early 1980s Mornington has emerged as one of the Australia's premier cool-climate wine regions. With its many sheltered valleys and a maritime cool climate, it's now home to over 200 wineries producing award-winning Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris. To help plan your trip, we've selected a collection of Mornington Peninsula wineries we feel provide the best cellar door experience, plus we've included a  handy interactive map down below . Crittenden Wine Centre
Crittenden Wines  are an icon of the Mornington Peninsula, helping to establish the region's reputation for superb cool-climate wines since the early 1980s. Today, the new Crittenden Wine Centre is the perfect place to sample a wide range of wines. Sit back and enjoy relaxed table service and be guided through a customized flight of wines by knowledgeable and friendly staff. There is a superb range of over two dozen wines on offer, from excellent Chardonnay and Pinot Noir through to innovative alternative varietals such as Vermentino, Savagnin and Tempranillo under their Los Hermanos and Pinocchio labels. 25 Harrisons Rd, Dromana, VIC -  View on our Mornington map Open daily 10:30 am to 4:30pm Visit the Crittenden Wine Centre website Quealy Winery Cellar Door
If you're a fan of Pinot Gris then a visit to the Quealy Winery Cellar Door should be the first cellar door on your list -  Australian wine lovers can arguably thank Kathleen Quealy for introducing us to this vibrant style.  At this charming cellar door, passionate hosts are on hand to guide you through the eclectic range of wines each with a characteristic and innovative winemaking style. You'll enjoy an amazing collection from sparkling wines and skin-contact whites to single vineyard Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir,  and cool climate Muscat dessert wines. You're in good hands here. 62 Bittern-Dromana Rd, Balnarring, VIC -  View on our Mornington map Open daily 9am to 5pm Visit the Quealy website Red Hill Estate
Established in 1989, this salt of the earth winery and cellar door was one of the first in the region and helped establish the Mornington Peninsula's reputation for outstanding cool-climate wines. There is a superb range of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Shiraz and Sparkling available to sample, with fruit sourced from their three estate vineyards. This is a great way to contrast the subtle differences that each vineyard imparts and to also appreciate the talents of winemaker Donna Stephens. Make sure you take the time to step outside and take in the magnificent view - it's one of the best in the region and looks over the vines out towards Western Port Bay. 53 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill South, VIC -  View on our Mornington map Open daily 11am to 5pm Visit the Red Hill Estate website Rare Hare
Rare Hare is the Peninsula's latest restaurant, wine bar, produce store and the new home of Willow Creek Wines and is not to be missed during your next visit. Enjoy a casual wine tasting at the wine bar or call ahead to book a guided tasting with one of the cellar door team in the barrel room. Afterwards, take in the panoramic views over the Willow Creek vines and enjoy innovative modern Australian fare in the restaurant courtesy of executive chef Guy Stanaway. Why not book a room and stay a night at  Jackalope Hotel , the region's latest luxury offering, that's just a short hop from the cellar door. 166 Balnarring Rd, Merricks North, VIC -  View on our Mornington map Open Mon to Thur 11am to 5pm and Fri to Sun 11am to 9pm  Visit the Rare Hare website Yabby Lake
This charming cellar door is the perfect place to spend the afternoon sampling a host of award-winning single vineyard Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Enjoy stunning views over the vineyard and a light lunch on the verandah, or perch yourself at the slick tasting bar and be guided by the always friendly cellar door staff through offerings from their Yabby Lake and Red Claw labels. 86-112 Tuerong Rd, Tuerong, VIC -  View on our Mornington map Open Daily 10am to 5pm Visit the Yabby Lake website Mornington Peninsular Cellar Door Map Planning a trip to Mornington Peninsula? Download our interactive Mornington Peninsula winery map. To save on your browser or device,  click here For more information on visiting the Mornington Peninsula, be sure to visit the official  Mornington Peninsula Website  or stop by the visitor information centre in Dromana. If you'd like to sample some of the wineries listed in this guide before you visit, explore our selection of  Mornington Wines   and find out more about the wineries listed here in our  Meet the Makers section  . And, with the  Wine Selectors Regional Release program  me, you'll experience a different wine region each Release with all wines expertly selected by our Tasting Panel, plus you'll receive comprehensive tasting notes and fascinating insights into each region. Visit our  Regular Deliveries   page to find out more!
Wine
A guide to the best Yarra Valley wineries and cellar doors
Plan the perfect escape to the Yarra Valley wineries with our carefully curated guide, list, and map to this premier cool climate wine region.  There is a stunning array of Yarra Valley Wineries and Cellars doors within an hours drive of Melbourne's CBD. To help plan your trip to this spectacular cool climate region we’ve selected a collection of wineries that provide the best cellar door experience plus we’ve included a handy interactive  Yarra Valley map down below .  While the region is famous for it’s  Chardonnay ,  Sauvignon Blanc , and  Pinot Noir , there’s also a stunning selection of  Sparkling wines  and innovative savoury  Rosés  on offer. You can find out more about the wines on offer in our  Yarra Valley region guide here  . Yarra Valley Wineries to Visit Oakridge
Opened in 2013, the striking, architect designed Oakridge cellar door is a sight to behold with its sleek industrial lines in bold contrast to the surrounding vines that creep right to the cellar door windows. The exceptional restaurant headed by executive chef Matt Stone formerly of Melbourne’s Silo and sous chef Jo Barrett from Tivoli Road, serves a local and sustainable menu showcasing the best of Yarra Valley produce. Yet, the true star at Oakridge are the wines, and they are among the region's best.  864 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream - view on our Yarra Valley Map Open daily 10am to 5pm Visit the Oakridge Website   Coombe Farm
The enchanting Coombe Farm cellar door is set within the grounds of the historic Melba House, constructed in 1912 by famed opera singer Dame Nellie Melba. The exquisite gardens, restaurant, providore, Melba Gallery and High Tea that’s held at 2:30pm every Wednesday, all combine for a terrific addition to any visit to the Yarra Valley. Furthermore, the estate grown, limited production wines are elegantly varietal and regionally expressive. Tasting Panelist and wine show judge, Trent Mannell  says, “Coombe Farm is  a remarkable winery and destination with a real sense of history.” 673 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream  - view on our Yarra Valley Map Open 9:30am to 5pm Monday to Friday,  9am to 5pm Saturday to Sunday Visit the Coombe Farm website Punt Road Wines
The Punt Road Wines cellar door is the perfect place to sample a fine selection of single vineyard, estate grown wines. The Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, and Chardonnay, in particular, are all exceptional. Relax outdoors on the back garden lawn with a Gundowring ice cream or unwind with a quick game of bocce.  Tasting Panelist, Adam Walls  is rather fond of the Punt Road cellar door  – ‘It has a warm and welcoming feel and the quality of both the cider and wine on offer is very high!” 10 St Huberts Road, Coldstream  - view on our Yarra Valley Map Open daily 10am to 5pm Visit the Punt Road Website Domaine Chandon
When leading champagne house Moet & Chandon established Domaine Chandon, it gave an overwhelming stamp of approval to the Yarra Valley as a leading location for the cool climate Champagne grape varieties of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier.  Designed by architectural firm Allen, Jack + Cottier, the cellar door and winery melds traditional Champagne architecture with modern Australian design. The cavernous 72,000 bottle climate-controlled riddling hall, stunning colonnade wall joining the original homestead and the gorgeous cellar door and restaurant overlooking their Green Point vineyard are all world class. Yet, what makes Domaine Chandon a must visit during any trip to the Yarra Valley is their terrific self-guided tour of the winery. The informative trail allows visitors to examine up close the full winemaking process from the expansive winery, barrel and riddling halls, all with informative interactive guides. 727 Maroondah Hwy, Coldstream - view on our Yarra Valley Map Open daily 10:30am to 4:30pm Visit the Domaine Chandon Website  Giant Steps
Located in the township of Healesville, the Giant Steps complex is truly spectacular and is a must visit. It’s a remarkable venue featuring a restaurant, cafe and cellar door built directly within their working winery separated by floor to ceiling glass. Giant Steps allows visitors to be surrounded by the winemaking process. Tastings are held in the newly refurbished barrel hall tasting room allowing you further insight into the happenings of vintage.  Address - 336 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville VIC 3777  - view on our Yarra Valley Map Open 11am to late Monday to Friday. 9am to late Saturday to Sunday Visit the Giant Steps Website Dominique Portet
Embrace a slower pace during your visit to the Yarra Valley at the delightful Dominique Portet Winery. The charming cellar door and Mediterranean inspired terrace cafe overlook rolling vineyards and are the perfect place to relax while sampling their exceptional Rose, Sparkling, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon on offer.  870 Maroondah Hwy, Coldstream  - view on our Yarra Valley Map Open daily 10am-5pm Visit the Domonique Portet Website Rob Dolan Wines
Rob Dolan , a Yarra Valley winemaking stalwart of 25 years, launched his own label in 2010 and won the  James Halliday Best New Winery Award in 2014 . Rob’s new cellar door combines  The Farm (an events space) , Stone & Crow Cheese and the Rob Dolan Winery. Located in Warrandyte, just 30 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD, this charming cellar door makes for the perfect start or conclusion to any visit to the Yarra Valley. 21-23 Delaneys Road, South Warrandyte - view on our Yarra Valley Map Open Daily 10am to 5pm Visit the Rob Dolan Wines Cellar Door Website De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate
De Bortoli Wines is an Australian wine industry institution established in Griffith, NSW, in 1928. The Yarra Valley vineyard, established in 1987 and helmed by Leanne De Bortoli and husband Steve Webber, is set in a truly stunning position completely surrounded by vines in every direction. This vineyard has produced excellent wines with De Bortoli winning the coveted Jimmy Watson trophy in 1997. Apart from a wide range of wines, what makes De Bortoli a particularly nice winery to visit is the marriage of wine with cheese. The extensive selection of local and imported cheeses in this friendly cellar door is outstanding and perfectly complements De Bortoli’s excellent cool climate Yarra Valley wines and those from their other regions. The Locale Restaurant offers an authentic Italian dining experience with a menu designed to reflect the best local seasonal produce featuring veggies from their own garden, home made pasta and authentic Italian risotto.  58 Pinnacle Lane, Dixons Creek  - view on our Yarra Valley Map Open daily 10am to 5pm Visit the De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate website Yering Station
No visit to the Yarra Valley is truly complete without a visit to Yering Station . This winery is a destination in and of itself with an exceptional architect designed restaurant and bar, historic cellar door, art space, underground barrel room, local produce store, monthly farmers market and stunning grounds. The first vineyard in Victoria was established on this site in 1838. That history is clear and enshrined in the old winery that now serves as the cellar door and gallery.  The monthly farmers market held in Yering Station’s historic barn is the oldest farmers’ market in Victoria and is a must if you are fortunate to be in the area. Be sure to check the  Yarra Valley Regional Food Group’s page  for more details on the market. 38 Melba Hwy, Yarra Glen  - view on our Yarra Valley Map Open daily 10am to 5pm  Visit the Yering Station website Seville Estate
This charming winery is situated further southwest towards Yellingbo. With a charming casual aesthetic overlooking a classic Australian bushland setting, the Seville Estate cellar door makes for the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon. One of the oldest continually operating wineries in the Yarra Valley, Seville Estate’s famed Shiraz and Pinot Noir are excellent examples of the region’s terroir.  Tasting Panelist, Trent Mannell agrees,  “Seville Estate is a Yarra Valley icon, the higher elevation of the estate’s vines allow the grapes to ripen slowly to produce elegant cool climate wines perfect for Pinot Noir.”  65 Linwood Rd, Seville  - view on our Yarra Valley Map Open daily 10am to 5pm Visit the Seville Estate Restaurant Tarrawarra Estate
The spectacular TarraWarra Estate cellar door, built into the earth of the wineries’ rolling hillside is a truly stunning place to sample their high-quality wines. The renowned restaurant complete with vista further cements TarraWarra as an exceptional Yarra Valley winery experience.  Tasting Panelist, Trent Mannell   has this to say, “Situated on 400 hectares of prime land beside the Yarra river, TarraWarra’s wines are meticulously grown, hand picked, vinified and aged on the estate,” he says. “There are so many great cellar doors in the Yarra Valley, but TarraWarra must be on your short list.” 311 Healesville-Yarra Glen Road, Yarra Glen - view on our Yarra Valley Map   Open Tuesday to Sunday, 11am to 5pm Visit the TarraWarra website Helen's Hill
Nestled at the bottom of its eponymous hill, this 100% family-owned and operated vineyard and cellar door is a must-visit for those interested in the inner workings of the winemaking process. With floor to ceiling views of the winery and barrel hall, this relaxed cellar door allows a unique experience and sense connection. The nearby Vines Restaurant is exceptional and the perfect match to the wineries premier wines. 16 Ingram Road, Lilydale  - view on our Yarra Valley Map Open daily 10am to 5pm  Visit the Helen's Hill website  Yarra Valley Wineries Map Planning a trip to the Yarra Valley? Our interactive Yarra Valley winery map is the perfect way to plan your next trip.  To save on your browser or device click here . Explore The Best Yarra Valley Wineries Today For more information on visiting the Yarra Valley be sure to visit the  official Yarra Valley visitors website . Why not sample some of the wineries listed in this guide before you visit  – explore our wide selection of Yarra Valley wines and find out more about the wineries listed in this guide in our  Meet the Makers section  . Here you’ll find further information on: With our Wine Selectors Regional Releases you’ll experience a different wine region each release with all wines expertly selected by our  Tasting Panel , plus you’ll receive comprehensive tasting notes and fascinating insights into each region.  Visit our Regional Releases page to find out more!
Wine
Bleasdale's Paul Hotker Loves Wine - And Bacon!
The  Bleasdale Frank Potts Cabernet Blend 2013  is our May Wine of the Month, so we caught up with Bleasdale's senior winemaker Paul Hotker. Can you recall the first wine you tried? I can't remember any specific bottle, does Stone's Ginger Wine count? There was always wine at the table growing up, plenty of West Oz Cabernet as I grew up in Perth, and  Eden Valley   Riesling, I still drink these wines. When did you fall in love with wine?   I remember drinking some beautiful  Rutherglen Muscat  in my early 20s, as well as cellared Bordeaux and  Margaret River Cab  - wines that probably set me on the path to the wine business. Do you have an all-time favourite wine? I'm not usually one for favourites, but Hugel 1989 SGN Gewürztraminer was an unexpected gem in a tutored tasting about 15 years ago, and I got to take the leftover bottle home. What is your all-time favourite wine memory (other than a wine itself)? Sharing great bottles with friends and family and those who appreciate it is always fun. Most recently, my last bottle of 2001  Semillon  made at uni (good but not great) served blind with the mates who made it 16 years ago. We drank far better wine after this prelude to dinner.   Other than your own wine, what is the wine that you like to drink at home? I drink widely, but also seasonally. Late summer and into autumn usually  Pinot Noir , Grenache and blends, mature whites - aged  Riesling ,  Chardonnay   and Sancerre. Later autumn and into winter, mature reds and whites. As spring and summer come along, younger whites and reds with vibrancy:  Riesling , Traminer,  Sauvignon Blanc  and blends, younger  Shiraz , Cab Merlot blends, etc. What's your ultimate food + wine match? Roast chook and Chardonnay, always a favourite, particularly during vintage. What's your 'signature dish'? I don't have a signature dish, it depends on the season. Roast pork with redgum smoke I make at all times of the year, I love the challenge of 100% crackle! Very keen on the flame grill, just about anything: beefsteak, lamb chops, butterflied chicken, and I love slow cooked meals in winter: roast chook, osso bucco, boeuf bourguignon are all perfect with mature reds. What is special about your wine region? Langhorne Creek  is a cool maritime but dry region with beautiful clay and limestone soils. The cool ripening period moderated by Lake Alexandrina and The Southern Ocean maintains the aromatics and natural acidity How do you relax away from the winery? I'm a keen reader, I love cycling through the  Adelaide Hills , which is on my doorstep. I like playing board games and puzzles with the family: chess, scrabble, UNO, snap, just about anything. Do you have a favourite holiday destination/memory? I love Kangaroo Island, easy to get to from here and great to slow the pace down a few notches. What is your favourite book? No favourites, but I just finished the  Harry Potter  series, couldn't put it down. Movie? No favourites, but I prefer independent films, I recently saw Paterson , which was a cracker, as was  Drive . TV show? The Fast Show. Beer? Wine. Restaurant?   Locally, The Olfactory Inn at Strathalbyn is excellent. Breakfast? Can't go past bacon and eggs, everything tastes better with bacon. Lunch? BLT, everything tastes better with bacon. Dinner? Roast pork, that's close to bacon, right?
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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