Hidden away in the Hawkesbury, are three vintners and a recent addition - our purveyor of fine gin, vodka, and moonshine.
A tasting trip to all and you will need a designated driver.
Contact Good Az Gold Coaches who can supply a luxurious bus and your driver - it will be a glorious relaxing day.
Address: North Richmond
Phone: 0424 345 102
Tastings are by appointment only
Pride. Passion. Perfection.
One hundred per cent Australian.
Historic Hawkesbury seems to draw industrious and energetic entrepreneurs. We've discovered they most often have a family gene - perhaps a component in their DNA - that leads to this new career. They are driven. They work long hours. And, they love their new business with passion, striving for perfection.
So it is with Ironbark Distillery. Back in the days of sailing ships, a family member perhaps got his first taste of whiskey and decided this was a business that had a future. The history gets a little hazy - we don't know if this ancestor was distilling, shipping or selling, but our present owner feels distilling fine spirits is in his blood. It is his passion to perfect the distilling process.
We know that artists most often need someone to develop the business and Reg Papps was brilliant - he married Greta, skilled in corporate business development. Her family has long been in business development. Her passion: put Ironbark Distillery on the world map, permanently.
Entrepreneurs also demonstrate strength and determination and while we suspect that sparks occasionally fly, together Reg and Greta have created an award-winning and internationally-recognised distillery. Book your tasting today!
Address: 518 Tizzana Road, Ebenezer
Phone: 02 4579 1150
Hours: Open weekends and public holidays, 12noon-6pm
Advance bookings are required for a lovely lunch
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For us, Tizzana Winery with its historic appeal could be the star of any movie - its dark cellar door is as beautiful inside as it is impressive outside. Its long Hawkesbury history has an intriguing plot: the original vintner, Fiaschi is born in Florence, serves in several wars, immigrates to Australia, practices medicine in Sydney and marries a former nun. He purchases land in an area then called Sackville Reach, imports vines cuttings from Italy and advances the practice of growing grapes for winemaking—the early stages of what we now call boutique wine. Vandalism and a major fire gutted much of the 1887 building, but in 1969 Peter and Carolyn Auld and their young children began its restoration. And so the saga continued.
Today, the restoration is complete - a wing housing a beautiful B&B added and wine tasting continues on the premises. In 2013, Tizzana introduced a new wine; a medium bodied dry red, Portland Head Tannat. A favourite in our household is the 2013 Clarissa red blend of Shiraz, Tannat and Petit Verdot grapes.
If you're seeking a lazy languid afternoon, book an onsite hot or cold luncheon for a small group. If weather permits, sit in the yard under the arboretum, where the scenic backdrop is the lily pad lagoon. We can vouch for the scrumptious food served up by Caroline Auld - delectable!
Address: 430 Bull Ridge Road, East Kurrajong
Phone: 0422 348 244
Hours: Open weekends and public holidays, 12noon-6pm
(East Kurrajong is a short 10-minute drive from Ebenezer wineries.)
It was our good fortune on this Sunday afternoon that vintner Ken Thorne, was serving up samples of all his 2014/15 wines. While sampling the Vernentino, we learned a few facts about Ken. As 'retirement' grew close, Ken - not one likely to retire - decided to make his hobby (growing grapes) into his second career. In today's vernacular, he reinvented himself.
He bought and cleared additional acreage (next to his property) and enrolled in a vintner class at Tafe and as part of the Tafe requirements, signed on at Tizzana Winery under the tutelage of vintner Peter Auld (Tizzana). Here they experimented, learning about the chemistry of Hawkesbury soils and different grape varieties. In the Hawkesbury, every vintage is unique, affected by any unusual seasonal change and the rich river soil.
Today, after lots of soil preparation and plantings of some 3000 vines - Bull Ridge produces delicate Verdelho and Vermentino whites with a hint of citrus (great with seafood) along with a number of reds - Shiraz and Durif. The Durif is a favourite among Hawkesbury locals and is a full-bodied wine, exceptional with roasts of lamb or beef.
Address: 519 Tizzana Road, Ebenezer
Hours: Open weekends and public holidays, 12noon-5pm
Jubilee Estate was part of the initial acreage purchased by Dr. Fiaschi. Low-lying the grapes are influenced by the river rich soil. Jubilee was re-established in 2004 and a purpose-built modern cellar door opened.
While Jubilee Estate sources and picks a grape from the Orange region, most grapes are grown at their Ebenezer vineyard: Chambourcin rose, chambourcin red and a sauvignon blanc. In 2014, Jubilee introduced a Voignier and it has been exceptionally popular with those who know and love their wine.
For groups of up to 30 people, Alison Hayek gives hands-on interactive tastings with platters of food chosen to enhance the tasting experience. Wine and food - a great experience.