We had a tip off from a winemaker in Margaret River to go and see Sue Bell at Bellwether Wines when we got to Coonawarra so we did. It was well worth it. The onsite campsite enabled us to get stuck into helping as well.
There is a really good vibe about her arty cellar door and winery. As well as making a Coonawarra Cabernet she is producing some rare Australian variety wines such as Bianco d’Alessano which she said will only make 100 cases.
The cellar door is all open plan with a tasting area as well as a dining area that opens up into the cellar where barrels are aging and wine is fermenting. She occasionally hosts artist exhibitions which gives this unique cellar door a very warm and creative touch. Her hard work has paid off she was the ASVO Wine Maker of the Year 2014. We are talking true boutique wine making here which we were fortunate to see at full speed when Sue, Steve Brown (winemaker) and Graham (volunteer) were pressing her 2016 grapes with a manual pressing machine .
Sue not only makes wines she runs a campsite, art and cookery events and is mum to a 6 year old. She likes a good laugh and we had a great evening with her, Steve and Graham. Sue’s great character, big smile and superb wines will mean her wines will be harder to get hold of as time goes by.
Juice from the press at Bellwether Wines. © Montager Productions Ltd.
Squished in the press. © Montager Productions Ltd.
Lighthouse tea cosy. © Montager Productions Ltd.
Bellwether banner. © Montager Productions Ltd.
Art all around Bellwether Wines. © Montager Productions Ltd.
Sculpture at Bellwether Wines. © Montager Productions Ltd.
Corn in the sun. © Montager Productions Ltd.
Nice light at Bellwether Wines. © Montager Productions Ltd.
Windmill at Bellwether Wines. © Montager Productions Ltd.
Inside the winery at Bellwether Wines. © Montager Productions Ltd.
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After a stay in the quiet town of Coonawarra we headed along the A66 Riddoch Highway and visited winemakers Sue Hodder and Sarah Pidgeon at the well known Wynns Coonawarra Estate.
We did an interview with Sue and then Sarah spent time with us out in the vineyards and specifically looking at the terra rossa soils. John Riddoch planted the first vineyards here in 1891 and the Wynns brothers, Samuel and David, purchased the original vineyards and winery in 1951.
The cellar door here is set up well for visitors and you can even put on a white lab jacket and make your own blend.
Our favourite wine at the tasting here was the John Riddoch Limited Edition Cabernet Sauvignon 2012.
The Gables. © Montager Productions Ltd.
Sarah Pidgeon. © Montager Productions Ltd.
Cabernet Sauvignon. © Montager Productions Ltd.
Soils and stone. © Montager Productions Ltd.
Soil types. © Montager Productions Ltd.
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