Great Alpine Road Visitor Guide

GREAT ALPINE ROAD VISITOR GUIDE | PAGE 65 TWIN RIVERS Wines that ‘embody the essence of Gippsland’ In 1978 Ken and Juliet Eckersley, owners of Nicholson River Winery, set out to discover whether Gippsland could grow grapes that would produce quality wines. It's been a long learning curve, dealing with droughts and floods, unsuitable varieties and uneconomic wine styles (such as sweet wines). Along the way, the couple discovered that the mild climate of the Gippsland Lakes does produce distinctive grapes, full of flavour, perhaps closer to Europe and New Zealand, than Australia. "Which is the miracle of grapes, always reflecting the environment and season where they are grown," Ken said. "So, what we've found is that Gippsland wines are unique, and embody the essence of Gippsland." In the 1990s, the winery's Chardonnay was nine times voted 'Victoria's favourite white wine', and both its Chardonnay and Syrah (Shiraz) have won major awards in London and Paris. "Our attitude is still one of experimenting, to make the best wine we can from the eight grape varieties grown here," Ken said. Those eight varieties are: Chardonnay, Semillon, Viognier, Pinot Noir, Syrah (Shiraz), Merlot, Sangiovese, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Only 70-180 dozen bottles of each label are made each year – all dry, food- and vegan-friendly styles, with low or no preservatives present. The styles also extend to Botrytis, Rosé, Pét Nat and rare Vintage Sparklings, and all are available for purchase at the cellar door. The winery's Barrel Room Restaurant is notable for its viewing deck and inspiring wall mural (painted by Jenny Noyes). Here you can enjoy local cheese and antipasto platters with a glass of wine, and it's also available for functions and events. Nicholson River Winery is located at 20 Cabernet Close, Nicholson, and is open from 10am to 4pm, Wednesday to Sunday. To find out more, visit The elevated deck at the winery overlooks the scenic and serene Nicholson River. Inside the winery’s Barrel Room Restaurant. 20 Cabernet Close, Nicholson 0409568241|0435146081 Wine Experiences available Award-Winning European-Style wines with local cheese & Antipasto Platters Cellar Door Open 10 - 4 Wed - Sun Please phone ahead if possible Sign Posted from Princes Highway near Nicholson and on the Great Alpine Road at Sarsfield Guided Tours Of The Winery (One Hour), At 10am on Fridays during school holidays. adults $40, accompanying under 18s free Food And Wine Matching Exercise (30 Minutes), Learn how to match cheese and wine. $30 per person. 10am on Thursdays during school holidays. Learn How To Enjoy Wine Like A Connoisseur Ask at the cellar door. takes 5 minutes and it is free! CALL US TO BOOK (est. 1978) Cellar door with spectacular views overlooking the Nicholson River