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Balgownie Estate

Reviews and Blog


Simon Wiener
4 March 2019 | Simon Wiener

2019 Vintage Update

The sudden burst of warm weather has ripened the grapes and the picking crews have been working very hard getting all the fruit to the winery as quickly as possible. In Bendigo the first grapes to be harvested last week were Merlot which is destined to play a role in our fabulous Black Label Cabernet Merlot. For those that enjoy our increasingly popular Sangiovese, the burst of sunshine rounded the berries off nicely and has resulted in a beautiful looking crop with good balance. The 2019 Black Label Sangiovese is wine to keep an eye out for when it is released in a few years time.

The focus on the picking though the coming week will be on our Shiraz. With a number of different vineyards becoming ripe and at the point of picking at the same time, it is sure to be a busy week for the both the pickers and the winery staff.

 The first vineyards to be picked will be Lone Gum and Fruit Salad where the fruit is earmarked for our popular Black Label Shiraz. Later this week, the harvesting will begin on the older shiraz blocks on the property – Rock Block, Railway Block and the fifty-year-old Centre Block. The fruit is in sensational condition and has a nice balance between sweetness, acid and fruit flavours, which should result in a remarkable wine to celebrate the fifth birthday of Balgownie Estate.

Time Posted: 04/03/2019 at 3:25 PM
Simon Wiener
21 February 2019 | Simon Wiener

2019 Vintage Update

The cooler weather has slowed the ripening of the grapes and much to the relief of the winemaking crew, has meant a brief pause in grapes arriving in the winery. This week we picked Rock Block West which has been earmarked for our spectacular Rosé. The grapes were hand-picked in two separate passes through the vineyard to ensure that the berries were harvested at their absolute best.

The shiraz fruit for the Rosé was quickly transported to the winery where it was crushed and left on skins very briefly to ensure the finished wine has that delightful pink blush colour. After crushing the juice was pumped to stainless steel tanks for fermentation.

Also this week we picked viognier, an unusual white variety from France. We have not made a viognier for a number of years, but this years the fruit was outstanding and we decided to make a varietal wine. The viognier was hand-picked and then crushed and pressed immediately to oak where fermentation with indigenous yeast began.

Time Posted: 21/02/2019 at 2:02 PM
Simon Wiener
7 February 2019 | Simon Wiener

2019 Vintage Update

The pickers have been hard at work in the vineyard carefully hard harvesting the Chardonnay from the Old Vine Vineyard in Bendigo.  Hand picking our fruit allows our grapes to be harvested at their very best and allows the pickers to discard any of the fruit that is substandard. The quantity of the Chardonnay has been excellent although the amount of fruit harvested is slightly down on last year.

The fruit harvested is destined for our Bendigo Estate Chardonnay, our celebrated chardonnay that has been produced since the first release in 1979.

Time Posted: 07/02/2019 at 3:49 PM
Simon Wiener
24 January 2019 | Simon Wiener

2019 Harvest has Commenced

Today Balgownie Estate harvested the first grapes of it’s 50th anniversary vintage. This year will mark fifty years since vines were planted at Maiden Gully outside Bendigo and the journey of Balgownie Estate began. The fifty year history of Balgownie Estate has seen it grow to be one of the premier boutique vineyards in the country.

The first pick this morning was Chardonnay fruit that is destined for our delicious Cuvee Sparkling Brut. The berries were hand-harvested in the cool morning which is perfect for maintaining the fruit at an ideal temperature and ideal for allowing the pickers to keep cool as well.

The Chardonnay grapes that go into the Cuvee Sparkling Brut are usually the first to be harvested as we want to retain the natural acidity of the fruit. The grapes have been pressed and the juice is being held in tank for cold settling overnight – this will remove any grape skins or stems that are left floating on the juice. Tomorrow fermentation with wild yeast will begin to transform the juice into sparkling wine.

Time Posted: 24/01/2019 at 1:10 PM
Simon Wiener
19 January 2019 | Simon Wiener

Try our Inaugural Release Cabernet Franc & Syrah

Cabernet Franc is a very ancient grape, usually thought of as a French variety, however recent studies have concluded that it likely originated in Spain. Although it is probably best recognized as a one of the varieties that constitute a traditional ‘Bordeaux blend’ along with the better known components Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec, Cabernet Franc has a major role in the Loire Valley appellations of Bourgueil, Chinon and Saumur. It is also a major variety of the rosé Cabernet d'Anjou.

Cabernet Franc buds and matures earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon and is often viewed as an insurance policy against the results of poor weather. It is popular in cooler areas and the resultant wines for Cabernet Franc tend to be lighter in colour and in tannin with aromas of currants, cherries, plums and spice with an herbaceous touch.

Despite Cabernet Franc being one of the varieties brought to Australia by James Busby in 1833 it was never widely planted in Australia, with most of the fruit being used in a traditional Bordeaux Blend. It is only in more recent times that winemakers have begun to experiment and produce a straight varietal of Cabernet Franc.

The Cabernet Franc grown in Bendigo has always been a little reluctant to shine and produce it’s best. However the outstanding vintage conditions in 2017 resulted in exceptional grapes that allowed the production of a varietal Cabernet Franc (with a touch of Shiraz) for the first time. This is a lovely smooth wine with flavours of blueberries, mulberry, juniper and allspice are wrapped around a savoury core with well-balanced and fine tannins

Cellar Door Price $29 per bottle

Platinum Wine Club $21.75 per bottle

Time Posted: 19/01/2019 at 3:29 PM
Simon Wiener
12 January 2019 | Simon Wiener

Read Andrew Graham's Review of the 2016 Estate Chardonnay from Yarra Valley

Here is what Andrew Graham wrote about the 2016 Balgownie Estate Chardonnay Yarra Valley in the Oz Wine Review.

"Who doesn’t like chunky, old school Chardonnay? This is open, and generous, flush with white peach, vanilla bean oak all over the nose, the palate tauter through the finish than the juicy peach fruit suggests. Old school width, meets new school acidity. It falls just a little into tinned cream peaches, but plenty of flavour." Best drinking: Now and for the nest 2-3yrs. 90/100.

Time Posted: 12/01/2019 at 9:00 AM
Simon Wiener
19 December 2018 | Simon Wiener

2018 Christmas Trading Hours


Balgownie Estate wishes you a very merry Chrsitmas and a safe and happy holiday season.

Both the Yarra Valley Cellar Door and the Bendigo Cellar Door and Restaurant     

are closed on Christmas Day,

but we are open every other day of the holiday season.


Time Posted: 19/12/2018 at 11:52 AM
Simon Wiener
30 November 2018 | Simon Wiener

New Year's Eve Celebrations Amongst the Vines

Christmas New Year's Eve Amongst the Vines in the Yarra Valley

See the New Year in style at Balgownie Estate Yarra Valley

Includes a glass of sparkling wine upon arrival with a magnificent 4-course degustation dinner and a night full of live entertainment. (Add paired wines for $45 pp)

6 PM – 8 PM | $110 Adult | $50 child

8:30 PM – Onwards | $130 Adult | $50 Child

 Bookings Essential | 03 9730 0774

Time Posted: 30/11/2018 at 1:21 PM
Simon Wiener
8 November 2018 | Simon Wiener

Christmas Lunch at Rae's Restaurant in the Yarra Valley

Christmas Lunch at Rae's Restaurant in the Yarra Valley

Celebrate the holiday season at Balgownie Estate

Join us for an indulgent Christmas Buffet Lunch complimented with a beverage package of Balgownie Estate’s finest wines and local beer.

Adults $190 | Teenagers $140 | Children $40

From 12 pm |  Bookings Essential | 03 9730 0774


Time Posted: 08/11/2018 at 9:00 PM
Simon Wiener
2 November 2018 | Simon Wiener

Balgownie Estate Bendigo features on 'A Moveable Feast'

Ross and Kate from Channel Seven's 'A Moveable Feast' visited us in Bendigo and dined on the fabulous French food of Executive Chef Travis Rodwell, matched with the Balgownie's superb Estate wines.

Watch the full episode here. Balgownie features at 16:25.

Time Posted: 02/11/2018 at 4:12 PM