Winery breaks new ground with cellar door complex
NEW ERA: An artist’s impression of Brokenwood Wines’ new cellar door complex. The building will house a range of flexible spaces. Picture: SuppliedBrokenwood Wines is hoping to break new ground in the Hunter Valley with a state-of-the-art cellar door complex.
“This is a significant moment in Brokenwood’s history,” chief winemaker and managing directorIain Riggs says.
“Our current cellar door was built in the ’70s so this new venture means a lot to us, but most importantly it will allow for more fun and exciting wine experiences for our customers.”
Architecture and design duoEduardo and Maria Villa from Sydney’s Villa & Villa are designing the cellar door and Integrated Project Group will manage the construction. It is expected to be completed at the end of 2018.
The building will feature a mixed palette of natural materials and will house a range of flexible spaces, all themed around the enjoyment of wine.Gone is the traditional long central bar–instead, Brokenwood has opted for customer-focused wine pods.
“We decided to make custom-built round wine pods where approximately 15 people can stand or sit which will allow our staff to give a more intimate experience,” Riggs explains.
“It essentially splits our customers up into smaller groups and will allow us to engage in a more effective way. No one in the Hunter Valley is using pods at the moment, but our board chairman saw them at Fairview Wines in South Africa and suggested we look at them.”
Guests will be able to relax by a fire with a rare drop thanks to an Enomatic wine dispenser that will allow previously not-for-tasting and museum wines to be readily available. Brokenwood will also feature a selection of wineson tap, which they have been successfully trialing in bars around the country.
A wine museum will feature floor-to-ceiling glass overlooking the working barrel shed and private dining rooms will be available for hire. And, in a nod to Brokenwood legends past, a lookout and education space will be dedicated to long-standing vineyard manager, the late Keith Barry.
There will also be a variety of food options available. The Cellar Door complex will house both acafe and a restaurant, as well as The Terrace.
“Our entertainment terrace will have a revolving calendar of events, music, pop-up guest chefs and food trucks. Picnic packs will be available for parents to relax on the front lawn while kids play or explore our on-site vegetable patch,” Brokenwood general managerGeoff Krieger said.
Adds Riggs: “We want this new space to offer a revolving calendar of activity so that every time our customers visit us they get a different fun experience to the last. We want to keep it fresh and interesting.
“We would have loved to have a food offering on-site in the pastbut we didn’t have the facilities available. Each year we run a number of wine club dinners at some of ’s best restaurants as a way to bring the fun and enjoyment of food and wine pairing to our members. We will still hold those events, but we will now also have a regular place they can visit when in the Hunter Valley, with something new and exciting to try every time.
“We thought it only fitting to offer a variety of food options to pair with our diverse list of wines in this new venture, where customers can sit and enjoy a leisurely meal with each other and really get the most out of our wines.”
The current Brokenwood Wines cellar door will remain open throughout construction.
Brokenwood was founded as a hobby venture in 1970 by three Sydney-based lawyers: James Halliday, JohnBeeston and the late Tony Albert. The 2018 vintage will mark 36 years with Riggs at the helm.