The Bold and the Innovative at 6Ft6 Wines
At 6Ft6 Wines, they don’t shy away from a challenge. After all, they’re named after convict William Buckley who, standing at six foot six, rose to the challenge of escaping his convict captors. It took a lot of pluck for Buckley to then adapt to life among the Indigenous people, but according to legend, he survived and thrived. That’s exactly the adventurous spirit the Austins, the family behind 6Ft6 and their eponymous label, have drawn on to see them survive and thrive throughout a challenging year.
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At the helm of this dynamic team are second generation owners Scott and Belinda Austin, who took over from founders Richard and Pamela Austin.
Scott and Belinda describe their approach to business as bold – there’s that Buckley spirit again – a philosophy they put front and centre when they rebranded in 2015 to create a striking new look for 6Ft6. They also grew the number of varieties on offer with Prosecco, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé added to the existing line-up of Pinot Noir and Shiraz. The success of 6Ft6 has been built around a sense of fun, while the quality of the wines is seriously good.
Bringing Winemaking Dreams to Life
Now the focus has turned to the Austin’s label with exciting changes breathing new life into one of the Geelong region’s most respected producers.
One of their most successful innovations has been the ‘Rent a Vine’ program, which sees budding winemakers rent a row of Chardonnay or Pinot Noir then learn how to make their very own wine via workshops with the Austins team.
And at the end of the experience, they get two dozens of their personalised wine to share with family and friends!
Of course, COVID has made face-to-face learning limited, so the Austins have expanded Rent a Vine to the online world, with the bonus being that now winelovers across the country can join in.
The innovation doesn’t end there! The Austins have also teamed up with artisan cheese maker L’Artisan to create at-home foodie experiences. Their specially curated cheese and wine packs, delivered to Melbourne and Geelong every Friday, have proven to be the perfect weekend treat for those in lockdown.
Or for a gorgeous meal with perfectly matched wines, the Menu del Dia at Movida Lorne has been matched with Austins wines with weekly deliveries selling out to food and wine lovers in Geelong and the SurfCoast.
Become a Founding Member
The missing piece of the Austins and 6Ft6 experiences has been a new cellar door, but that’s set to change in 2021 – and you have the chance to be a founding member. Through a crowdfunding initiative, wine lovers can purchase Limited Edition Cellar Door wines and in doing so help bring this dream to life.
While 2020 has thrown one challenge after another at the Australian wine industry, producers like the Austins have proven that tough times can actually breed the most innovative of ideas. And they’re looking forward to seeing what 2021 will bring!