Step beyond the cellar door

FINE VINTAGE: Warrego Wines chief winemaker Kevin Watson shares his tips on what food and wine match best.
FINE VINTAGE: Warrego Wines chief winemaker Kevin Watson shares his tips on what food and wine match best. Rob Williams and Sarah Harvey

SET right on Ipswich’s doorstep near the historic town of Marburg, Warrego Wines offers people a glimpse behind the scenes into the winemaking industry.

The winery was founded by Kevin and Cathy Watson, who emigrated from Canada in 1994.

Having made wine as amateurs in Canada, Mr Watson decided to become a professional winemaker and studied at Charles Sturt University, attaining his Bachelor’s Degree in Wine Science.

The couple harvested their first grapes in January 2002 and now produce 20 varieties of wine, from a full range of reds to crisp whites and full-bodied ports. They also produce four varieties of organic, preservative-free wines.

The winery provides spectacular views of the beautiful mountains nearby and offers visitors the chance to taste and buy award-winning wines from their cellar door, take a guided tour of their modern winemaking facility or simply dine in pleasant surroundings with friends and family.

From the serious wine connoisseur to the occasional tippler, the cellar door caters for a range of different palates.

The red gum bar, local artwork and charming decor present visitors with a friendly welcome.

The winery’s knowledgeable staff are happy to help guide people through the process and can even offer advice on the best foods to accompany each wine as well as tips on cellaring.

Gifts for the serious wine lover are also available.

The cellar door is open five days a week from Thursday to Monday from 10am to 5pm except Good Friday, Christmas Day and Anzac Day morning. Bookings are not required: just turn up.

Visitors can also get a deeper insight into the winemaking process through the guided tours.

As well as modern equipment, Warrego Wines has a fine collection of antique winemaking equipment allowing their tour guide to provide visitors with a real insight into both the traditional ways of making wine as well as the more recent methods.

At the conclusion of the tour, visitors are invited to experience the results of the winemaking techniques that they have just learned from the winemaker.

While you won’t walk away a qualified winemaker, you will have acquired enough knowledge to help you when selecting and tasting wines.

Public tours are available at 10am each Saturday and Sunday for just $5.

While there, why not stop for a bite to eat? The Cellar Door Cafe offers light lunches in the cellar door or out in the garden five days a week from Thursday to Monday from 11.30am to 2pm. Bookings are recommended on weekends.

The last Sunday of each month, there is also the opportunity to groove out in the garden with a free afternoon of music. Held from noon, the program’s past offerings have included soul, blues, jazz and light rock.

Topics:  marburg winemaking

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