Waratah Hills Vineyard
Waratah Hills Vineyard was originally planted under the direction of local pinot noir pioneer Phillip Jones of Bass Phillip. That was in 1996, and the vines still maintain their tightly planted, low-trellising style reminiscent of Burgundy.
Neil and Judy Travers bought the property in 2008. At first they were working in Sydney and commuting to the property, before making the leap to Gippsland full-time. Marcus Satchell (of Dirty Three Wines) came on board as winemaker, and has been turning out award-winning drops ever since. The vineyard focuses on chardonnay and pinot noir, with multiple pinot clones forming the yearly vintage.
The cellar door and restaurant occupy a former tractor shed, with a fireplace to keep it toasty in winter. Judy runs the kitchen, turning out share platters of dips, savoury pastries, charcuterie, cheese and grilled vegetables from the on-site garden. Produce is also sourced from the renowned Aherns Fruit Market in Foster; cheese boards feature a rotating selection of Gippsland’s finest dairy; and there’s usually a savoury and sweet special of the day.