Last month I had the absolute pleasure of discovering a beautiful family winery, as part of the Melbourne Food & Wine festival, Medhurst Wines, situated in the Yarra Valley.
The property is truly unique, with the perfect blend of modern architecture and relaxed, rustic elements, that make a winery experience special.
As we head into the colder months, the idea of sipping delicious wines on a crisp day sounds heaven to most foodies, and the selection an Medhurst does not disappoint – from the beautiful lightness of their Rosé, to the bolder red of their Pinot Noir.
But it’s more than just the delicious food and wine that makes Medhurst special – it’s the warm ambiance, dedication to their craft and the real sense of family, which I discovered even more about when sitting down for a chat …
Please tell us about the winery and its history – was this always the dream?
The Medhurst property was purchased by Robyn & Ross Wilson in 1998 and was the realisation of their shared vision to own a beautiful property in the Yarra Valley and to produce high quality estate wines. The property was chosen for its favourable microclimate, north facing slopes, good drainage and magnificent aspect.
In 2000 chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet, shiraz and sauvignon blanc varietals were planted with the first vintage being 2003. The 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon is still drinking beautifully today.
The vineyard has the perfect balance of stylish, yet completely relaxed, was this the intention behind both the architecture and the way it is run?
Ross & Robyn’s goal was to have a functioning vineyard, winery and cellar door that was stylish and presented a relaxed setting in the beautiful Yarra Valley bush-land.
The working buildings were designed to meet their practical applications but not impose on the natural environment. In 2010 Ross and Robyn’s son Tim and his partner Christie of Folk Architects won a commercial architecture award for winery design.
The winery is set into the side of a hill to reduce its impact on the landscape and improve its environmental characteristics. It features a translucent wall and an underground barrel store.
In 2018 Folk Architects completed the cellar door renovation and extension bringing their signature style and design to the new cellar door with natural timber finishes and curved glass opening out to the inviting outdoor setting.
Now for the most important part … The Wines! I absolutely loved the wines during the cellar tasting, which of them would be the must try when people visit the cellar?
The wines produced are a unique reflection of the estate and season. The passion of the winemaking team under the direction of senior winemaker Simon Steele is obvious in all the wines.
The wines produced are: chardonnay, pinot noir, rosé, sauvignon blanc, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. Each parcel of fruit receives the same care and attention in the winery as in the vineyard. The wines are released only when they are ready and are of the standard to which Medhurst is committed.
At all times quality is paramount. What is the secret to the perfect wine blend – in red and white?
Medhurst is known for its outstanding chardonnay, pinot noir and its French style rosé which is considered one of the best produced in Australia. The cabernet sauvignon and shiraz whilst produced in very small quantities are must tastes when visiting the cellar door.
Of course you also have a beautiful café on the property – what are some of the most delicious highlights on the menu?
The café, which is open for lunch Thursday to Monday, offers outstanding food presented by local iconic chef Robin Sutcliffe. The menu includes dishes which hero seasonal fruits and vegetables grown in Medhurst’s stunning gardens. These gardens also grow the spectacular flowers which adorn the cellar door.
What are some of the exciting events you have coming up?
Medhurst is a must go to cellar door/café when visiting the Yarra Valley and watch this space for up-coming events including quarterly food & wine dinners.