Celebrating Wine Week

Posted by Jane Leckie. Filed under Community, Events

To celebrate Melbourne Wine Week, in the aftermath of the Royal Melbourne Show judging, Regional medalists were invited to join RMWA  medal and Trophy winners at the annual Uncorked event at Collins Place and to show their medal winning wines.

Promoted as ‘every wine lovers’ excuse to sip and savour over 300 medal and trophy winning wines from this year’s Royal Melbourne Wine Awards and regional Victorian wine shows’  it drew a big crowd.

The crowd at the Heathcote table was amazing and the feedback was fantastic. We had on tasting Peregrine Ridge Wine Makers Reserve  2005 Sparkling Shiraz,   McIvor Estate 2008 & 9 Shiraz,  Sanguine ’12 Progeny,  Heathcote Winery The Wilkins Shiraz 2010 and their Mailcoach Shiraz 2008 ,  She Oak Hill 2012  Shiraz and St Michael’s Fortified Shiraz.

The crowd loved the wines and the opportunity to talk to the people behind the wines, frequently commenting that a sales person just did not have the same insight, stories or passion for their product. I came back feeling so proud of  Heathcote and the point of difference we offer. I am sure we won plenty of new Heathcote enthusiasts on the night and it was a great experience to share the pouring with our fellow wine makers.


Welcome to Heathcote

Posted by Jane Leckie. Filed under Community, Events

There are many exciting innovations taking place in Heathcote at present and I would like to share some of them with you.

The monthly Farmer’s Market is held under the shade of beautiful trees in Barrack Reserve on the 3rd Saturday of each month. You can support local growers of fabulous produce, enjoy a leisurely shopping experience and meet with friends to spend time in this lovely setting.  She-Oak Hill provides wine tastings and sales at the Farmer’s Market each even month this year.

On the same 3rd weekend of each month 12 of  Heathcote’s excellent cellar doors will be open as part of the Heathcote Cellar Door Experience. You are guaranteed a warm welcome at each of these cellar doors by people with a passion for their vineyards and the fruit of their labors.

I am also recommending you visit the delightful Heathcote Wine Hub @ Cellar & Store for great coffee, light meals, sundowners on Friday evenings during summer and of course the opportunity to taste the best of Heathcote’s wines. In the winter months there is a welcoming and cosy open fire place. On the long weekend in June, Heathcote Wine Hub will be a central point of the annual Heathcote on Show Weekend

The recently refurbished  Willow Room at Emeu Inn under its new management team – Jody at the front of house and her husband Brent by the stove – lifts the bar for dining in Heathcote.  I can recommend the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus having tried them all and thoroughly enjoyed each experience. The zucchini flowers are exceptional, delicately battered and cooked to perfection. Willow Room prides itself on featuring largely regional wines paired with exceptional local produce.

If you are extending your stay over night, the recently completed Cranford Cottage offers unique and luxurious bed and breakfast accommodation for 2 couples in the heart of the Heathcote wine region. Contact Cally by email – or phone 0418 342 957 for enquiries

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Support our local growers & the Heathcote community

Posted by Jane Leckie. Filed under Community, Events


On the third Saturday of each month join us at the Heathcote Farmers Market to purchase fresh produce and small batch condiments, talk to the passionate producers, enjoy the rural environment  and catch up with friends. It’s a beautiful way to spend the morning and an excellent way to stock your fridge or get organised  for a picnic.


What do mandarins have to do with it?

Posted by Jane Leckie. Filed under Community, Vineyard

When the mandarins on my tree in Melbourne turn sweet and golden  I know it is time to start pruning.

What  relevance does this have to grape vines?  Well, for all the years as I have worked alongside Laurie who has pruned our vines for 36 years I have brought him 5 perfectly  ripe mandarins which he has carefully rationed for each day of the working week and enjoyed after his ham and cheese sandwich on his favorite ‘Country Split’ bread accompanied by a Light Ice. Laurie is the best sort of worker to have at a vineyard – he does not drink wine!  This year Laurie’s health has, much to his frustration, prevented him  from doing the work at which  he is so skilled and that he has loved for such a long time.

In the past cold days and freezing winds have just been part of the vineyard year for Laurie as, with the eye of an artist,  he selects the canes to lay down for fruit in the season to come and those to ‘spur’ for next year’s canes. This year the cold weather is proving too much of a challenge for him. Recognized as an expert throughout the region our old friend has pruned at many vineyard including Jasper Hill and Mt Ida but has retained a special place in his heart for his vineyard, She-Oak Hill.
Each day in my garden as I walk past the golden fruit on the mandarin tree I think about the enduring impact Laurie has made on my life, the support he has generously offered to our vineyard, the pride he has taken in his work over the years and I share his sense of despair that, at the age of 84, he may need to start taking things a little more easily.