It’s certainly an attention-grabbing spot for a party. Taking up roughly the same space as the MCG’s football pitch, the space under Mitchelton Winery, about an hour outside Melbourne, houses the largest operational cellars in the country.
It’s the venue for October 22’s Hallowine, the second in a series of parties hosted by Sarah DeBoer and Sas Landy.
“We discovered the space when we took our mums to Mitchelton for a Mother’s Day lunch,” says Landy. “We were taken on a tour and Sarah, who’s married to an American, said she’d love to have a Halloween party there. I said ‘Hallowine!’ and we both cracked up laughing. We kind of forgot about it for a few years because Sarah had kids, but last year we decided it was time.”
Mitchelton hadn’t hosted an event in the cellars for 20 years, but in Landy, the space is in good hands. As the director of Ghost Host, an event production company specialising in one-off parties and activations, she has created occasions of all shapes and sizes, including work on Let Them Eat Cake festival since its inception. While events are her profession, Landy makes clear Hallowine is a “love project”, inspired by a unique space and the sort of crowd that appreciates something a little different.
“We had in mind people who loved partying but didn’t want to go to the big crazy festivals anymore,” she says. “People who are looking for an event with good food and wine and a chance to dress up, and who are interested in doing something a little different.”
Last year partygoers were separated from their friends and entered the cellars via three different entrances, creating opportunities to meet strangers and get to know more people at the party. This year’s theme is “Dreamscapes”; “Dazed, crazed, and decadent attire is required,” says Landy.
“Sarah’s husband is the drummer in the Dandy Warhols, and he’s doing a special performance based around dream sequences from films,” Landy says. “We also work with an amazing stylist crew from Sydney called Nest Creative who do themed dinner parties and really know how to turn a space on its head.”
DJ Edd Fisher is another highlight this year. Dinner is by Mitchelton’s on-site restaurant Muse, with beer, wine and sparkling included in the ticket price, as well as cocktails from the secret bars peppered through the space.
Guests can book on-site glamping (though get in quick, camping applications close on Friday October 14), and there’s accommodation in Ngambie, with shuttle buses running all night.
Hallowine Part II takes place on October 22 at Mitchelton Winery, 470 Mitchellstown Road, Nagambie. This year’s theme is “Dreamscapes”. Tickets are $180 and include drinks, dinner, dessert and entertainment.