The Heathcote Wine Region is fast becoming known as one of the best shiraz wine producing regions in Australia. The number of Heathcote wineries and cellar doors has grown steadily over the last 10 years as both industry and consumers have become very excited about the wines that are currently being produced and the potential for the future.
There are now over 100 producers of Heathcote wine, however, not all have wineries in the region. Of those that do have wineries in the region, relatively few have cellar doors that are open other than on weekends or by appointment. I expect that will start to change very quickly as the hidden gems of Heathcote become a mainstream destination for people seeking a quality wine tasting experience.
Most of the wineries in Heathcote are small, family run businesses. Their stories are all very different, but they share a common passion for hard work, lifestyle and the love of wine.
Kate Hicks spent many, many months researching and talking with the owners of nearly all the Heathcote wineries in order to produce her book “The People Behind the Wines of Heathcote”. As a result of Kate’s love of the region and her extreme generosity, she has allowed us to share this content with you via this website, so you can read for yourself some of the amazing stories behind the wine of Heathcote.
Peter Armstead can still remember the “amazing wine” that was one of the reasons he and his wife Sharon now find themselves as owners of a winery on the edge of Lake Eppalock. “As an aircraft maintenance engineering instructor I did a lot of flying around the country. I was working as an instructor at … Read More
Banksia Grove is a family owned and run vineyard situated on the Heathcote-Redesdale Road, just two kilometres from the Heathcote Township. In early 2002 Kim Chambers purchased the vineyard and set about redeveloping the property’s established vines. Planted in the 1970s, the vines have thrived during the property’s extensive redevelopment. 2002 marked the first release … Read More
David Traeger began his working life in the Australian wine industry in late 1973 and established his own wine business in 1986, being the culmination of a desire that grew while working as a winemaker for both major and smaller wine companies. Re-established as a small independent winemaker, his aim is to produce limited volumes of elegant … Read More
It is a long way from trekking through the bush in Western Australia’s Pilbara region, learning bushcraft from your WW2 commando dad, to making wine in Barfold. Craig Aitken, winemaker at Barfold Estate, Heathcote’s most southern winery, took a long while to make this journey. A science degree led him to a thirty seven year … Read More
Andrew Millis grew up in Brighton where he had “a very free childhood, engaging in typical boyish pursuits such as Sea Scouts and sailing. In those days we rode our bikes everywhere. We’d pack a haversack and ride maybe thirty to forty kilometres into the bush and camp out under the stars. Our push bikes … Read More
Michael Dhillon’s maternal family has lived in the Gisborne area since 1853. His English great-great grandfather, Henry Dixon, arrived in Australia to work on the railway line from Bendigo to Melbourne. “My grandfather bought twelve hundred acres for sheep farming,” says Michael. “When he died, the property was split among his family. My parents ended … Read More
Buckshot Vineyard is a family operated and owned winery based in Heathcote, established in 1999. The family strives to create distinctive Heathcote reds that reflect the soil in which they come from. Their wines show intense varietal aromas and flavours, balanced weight and mouthfeel, and a long silky finish. Buckshot produce 2 red wines: a shiraz from … Read More
With the region just coming out of a 10 year drought, Simon Osicka (winemaker) and his partner Alison Philips (an experienced viticulturist) wanted to explore options other than the family’s dry grown vineyard (ie Paul Osicka vineyard). Simon and Alison spent a lot of time visiting different vineyards, tasting fruit and wine before deciding to … Read More