Wineries to discover: September

By Halliday Promotion

17 Sep, 2023

The 20 wineries in the list below take us across the country, from family-owned vineyards in Victoria to sprawling estates in Western Australia and everything in between. Discover the winery for your next weekend escape here.


Buller Wines – Rutherglen, VIC

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Founded in 1921, Buller Wines combines the rich heritage of a century with modern winemaking techniques to produce exceptional wines, ranging from fresh King Valley prosecco to the luscious Calliope Rare Muscat. Led by Gerald Judd, Dave Whyte and Michael Murtagh, the local family-owned winery has experienced a revitalisation, transforming it into a must-visit destination in the Rutherglen region. Alongside the century-old winery and rejuvenated cellar door, the grounds at Buller Wines now boast a distillery, restaurant and boutique vineyard accommodation.

 winery | | Halliday profile

Lake Cooper Estate – Heathcote, VIC

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Lake Cooper Estate is a substantial venture in the Heathcote region, set on the side of Mount Camel Range with panoramic views of Lake Cooper, Greens Lake and the Corop township. There are plans for the construction of a 300t winery, cellar door, restaurant and accommodation, with a complete overhaul of winemaking practices by the highly experienced Paul Boulden and Richard Taylor. – James Halliday

★ winery | | Halliday profile

Pt. Leo Estate – Mornington Peninsula, VIC

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Pt. Leo Estate is owned by John Gandel and wife Pauline. Over 30 years ago they purchased 20ha of land on the wild side of the Mornington Peninsula, created a lake at the entrance of the property, and in 2006 planted a 20ha vineyard. It is now also the site of a 16ha sculpture park featuring works by international and Australian artists. A cellar door and restaurant opened in October 2017 and the fine dining restaurant, Laura, opened in March 2018. A third space, the Wine Terrace, has since been added. Ainslie Lubbock (ex Attica and The Royal Mail Hotel) oversees service alongside head sommelier Amy Oliver (ex Cutler + Co, Rockpool) and culinary director Joseph Espuga. – James Halliday

4.5  winery | | Halliday profile

Serengale – Beechworth, VIC

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Serengale is owned by Gayle Taylor and Serena Abbinga. Gayle is a graduate of Charles Sturt with 20 years of experience in the wine industry and Serena has qualifications from Melbourne in commerce and viticulture. For three years they searched for the perfect site on which to begin their wine journey, finally purchasing 24ha of ancient granite soils at the base of the Victorian Alps in the Everton Hills, Beechworth. In 1999 they established the vineyard with initial plantings of chardonnay, merlot and cabernet sauvignon, followed by pinot gris and shiraz, and their first vintage was in 2015. Both Gayle and Serena are hands on, with sustainability and organic principles foremost for the vineyard and traditional winemaking techniques governing the winemaking. Their passion is for making handcrafted traditional wines from their single vineyard that express terroir.

4.5  winery | | Halliday profile

Taltarni – Pyrenees, VIC

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The Goelet family, founders of Clos du Val (Napa Valley), and Clover Hill (see separate entry), purchased Taltarni in 1972 concluding an ambitious search for their first Australian site. Taltarni is the larger of the two Australian ventures, its estate vineyards of great value and underpinning the substantial annual production. Insectariums are established in permanent vegetation corridors, each containing around 2000 native plants that provide a pollen and nectar source for the beneficial insects, reducing the need for chemicals and other controls of the vineyards. Taltarni celebrated 45 years of winemaking in 2022. – James Halliday

5 ★ winery | | Halliday profile

Turners Crossing Vineyard – Bendigo, VIC

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Nestled along the banks of the Victoria's Loddon River, the Turners Crossing vineyard was established in 2002, and has been family owned and operated since the beginning by the Bennett family. Philip Bennett came across this parcel of land where the perfect balance of warm days and cool nights create a climate in which the grapes can ripen during the day and recover overnight. The family heritage continues at Turners Crossing with the recent appointment of Phil's daughter Jean McKinnon as custodian of this beautiful land. Recently certified sustainable, the vineyard is spread across 42ha of limestone infused soil and is virtually pesticide and chemical free. Turners Crossing produces a combination of shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, viognier and the rare Italian variety, picolit.

3.5 ★ winery | | Halliday profile

New South Wales

Bimbadgen – Hunter Valley, NSW

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Located high on a hill in the heart of Hunter Valley wine country, Bimbadgen is a striking winery and vineyard encompassing an expansive cellar door, the award-winning Esca Bimbadgen restaurant, wood fire pizzeria, outdoor amphitheatre, modern tasting rooms and accommodation all in the one stunning location. The original Bimbadgen vineyard located on Palmers Lane remains one of the Hunter Valley’s best kept secrets, featuring old fig trees framing a spectacular view of the Brokenback mountain range. Bimbadgen Palmers Lane is one of the region’s most popular wedding venues and will also soon be home to The Lane Retreat. Opening in late October, The Lane Retreat will be the Hunter Valley’s newest accommodation destination, comprising 60 premium studio retreats.

5 ★ winery | | Halliday profile

Lisa McGuigan Wines – Hunter Valley, NSW

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Founder and creator of renowned Tempus Two Wines, Lisa McGuigan changed gears after selling that winery to own and run a number of successful Sydney bottle shops. Here, Lisa’s creativity was reignited, leading her to launch Lisa McGuigan Wines. The cellar door, Vamp by Lisa McGuigan, showcases distinctive design features and various tasting areas to enjoy the winery’s three collections: Silver, Platinum and the pinnacle of the range, Renaissance. Vamp features some of Lisa favourite quotes and meaningful things, and combines her great loves of fashion, design, wine and hospitality. There are four semi-private tasting rooms, each partitioned by chainmail hanging screens, and a large group tasting room runs the length of the back half of the building.

lisamcguiganwines.comHalliday profile

South Australia

1847 Wines – Barossa Valley, SA

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1847 Winery Group purchased the historic Chateau Yaldara in Lyndoch in 2014, deciding to separate the two brands and run 1847 on its own merits, based out of Rowland Flat. The flagship wines are the First Pick and Grand Pappy’s range. They fit into the traditional, classic Barossa style, full flavoured and structured with bold, balanced lines. – Dave Brookes

4.5 ★ winery | 1847wines.comHalliday profile

Beresford Wines – McLaren Vale, SA

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Established in 1985 in the heart of McLaren Vale, Beresford Estate is family-owned and passionately South Australian. Our winemakers apply their extraordinary knowledge and expertise to handcraft wines of celebrated distinction, heroing the individuality and diversity of the McLaren Vale region. Our vineyard is a true representation of McLaren Vale’s most successful grape varieties – 60-year-old gnarly old bush vine grenache, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon and leading clones of chardonnay. On the Estate, stands Beresford House, Beresford Tasting Pavilion, Beresford Estate Suites and Villas and the Vale Restaurant, all built with modern architectural precision and an eye for detail, they provide a visionary space to experience the very best McLaren Vale has to offer.

4 ★ winery | | Halliday profile

Clarendon Hills – McLaren Vale, SA

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Age and experience, it would seem, have mellowed Roman Bratasiuk – and the style of his wines. Once formidable and often rustic, they are now far more sculpted and smooth. Roman purchased a 160ha property high in the hill country of Clarendon at an altitude close to that of the Adelaide Hills. Here he established a vineyard with single-stake trellising similar to that used on the steep slopes of Germany and Austria; it produces the Domaine Clarendon Syrah. Sons Adam and Alex have joined their father in the business – Adam in the winery, Alex managing the future direction of Clarendon Hills. – James Halliday

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First Drop Wines – Barossa Valley, SA

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First Drop Wines HQ is in the striking 'Home of the Brave' building on the southern edge of Nuriootpa in the Provenance Barossa precinct. John Retsas is the man behind the dynamic brand, with its delicious wines sourced from vineyards across the Barossa, Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale. There is a heavy emphasis on the 'alternative' (appropriate) varieties with Italian and Portuguese grapes making their presence felt; of course, shiraz, grenache, cabernet sauvignon and mataro also play a role, with a contemporary slant. – Dave Brookes

4 ★ winery | firstdropwines.comHalliday profile

Heirloom Vineyards – Various, SA

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Another venture for winemaker Elena Brooks and her husband Zar. The lofty aims of Heirloom are ‘to preserve the best of tradition, the unique old vineyards of SA, and to champion the best clones of each variety, embracing organic and biodynamic farming’. The fruit is sourced from across SA and the quality of the wines has been consistently very good. – James Halliday

5  winery | | Halliday profile

John Duval Wines – Barossa Valley, SA

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John Duval is an internationally recognised winemaker, having been the custodian of Penfolds Grange during his role as chief winemaker from 1986–2002. He established his eponymous brand in 2003 after almost 30 years with Penfolds and provides consultancy services to clients all over the world. While his main focus is on old-vine shiraz, he has extended his portfolio with other Rhône varieties. John was joined in the winery by son Tim in 2016. Wines can be tasted alongside spectacular regional cuisine at Artisans of Barossa. – James Halliday

5  winery | | Halliday profile

Sister's Run – Various, SA

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Sister’s Run is now part of the Brooks family empire, the highly experienced Elena Brooks making the wines. The Stiletto and Boot on the label are those of Elena, and the motto ‘The truth is in the vineyard, but the proof is in the glass’ is, one would guess, the work of marketer extraordinaire husband Zar Brooks. – James Halliday

4 ★ winery | | Halliday profile

Utopos – Barossa Valley, SA

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Located on the cusp of Marananga and Greenock, Utopos Vineyard began in 1974 on a bed of lean and depleted stoney soils. This outstanding geology significantly limits yield, allowing them to grow incredibly concentrated yet balanced fruit on these shallow, ancient soils. The name is the root word for utopia, which comes from the Greek 'eutopos' – a good and perfect place. The hallmark of the Utopos Vineyard on Roennfeldt Road is the pitch perfect acid/tannin balance achieved at full ripeness. This provides for delicious, highly approachable wines in their youth, whilst enabling them to positively develop over a 10–15 year period, and more. The vineyard is planted to shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, grenache and mataro and produces wines that have the depth and concentration that you expect from Marananga and Greenock terroirs.

5  winery | | Halliday profile

Vineyard Road – Langhorne Creek, SA

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Vineyard Road is a unique cellar door one hour south of Adelaide in the Langhorne Creek Wine Region. The cellar door is popular for its warm vibe and friendly service with a small café, amazing coffee, tasting plates and German pizzas called Flammkuchen. Wine tastings, wine experiences paired with chocolate, a chocolate shop and a natural skin care shop are all part of the unique offering. Set on the Belvedere Estate Vineyard, the Belvedere Estate Shiraz is just one of the dozen wines worth tasting. Guests are spoilt for choice – you can pick from five quaint spaces overlooking the vineyard to spend your time: the bar, the front experience room, outside on the lawns, under the back veranda or on the front patio. profile

Western Australia

Cullen Wines – Margaret River, WA

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A pioneer of Margaret River, Cullen Wines has always produced long-lived wines of highly individual style. The vineyard has progressed beyond organic to biodynamic certification and, subsequently, has become the first vineyard and winery in Australia to be certified carbon positive. Winemaking is in the hands of Vanya Cullen, daughter of founders Kevin and Diana Cullen; she is possessed of an extraordinarily good palate and generosity to the cause of fine wine. Vanya was awarded the Companion's inaugural Viticulturist of the Year in 2022, Cullen's 50th anniversary year. – James Halliday

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Flowstone Wines – Margaret River, WA

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"Veteran Margaret River winemaker Stuart Pym’s career constituted long-term successive roles: beginning with working at his parents winery in 1983, then Voyager Estate in 1991, thereafter with Devil’s Lair, and finishing with Stella Bella in 2013, the year he and Perth-based wine tragic Phil Giglia established Flowstone Wines. In 2003 Stuart and his partner Janice,  purchased a small property on the edge of the Margaret River Plateau in the beautiful Forest Grove area, progressively planting chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, gewürztraminer and touriga. From 2017, Flowstone leased a vineyard at Karridale, planted to long-established sauvignon blanc and chardonnay." – James Halliday. Flowstone say that they now all work as a happy team on that beautifully fulfilling commitment, actively engaged in all facets, from the vineyard, to the winery, and getting the wines to their appreciative consumers.

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Clover Hill – Northern Tasmania

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Clover Hill was established by Taltarni with the sole purpose of making a premium sparkling wine. It has 23.9ha of vineyards (chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier) and its sparkling wine is excellent, combining finesse with power and length. The American owner and founder of Clos du Val (Napa Valley), Taltarni and Clover Hill has brought these businesses under the one management roof, the group known as Goelet Wine Estates. – James Halliday

4.5 ★ winery | | Halliday profile