An ideal mixture of homely and grand, and with wines which are each approachable but advanced, John Wallace Wines and its stunning cellar door are set to grow to be a centre-pin of any Hunter Valley wine expertise.
Each time we go to the Hunter, we all the time appear to identify new wineries we’ve both by no means heard of or have heard of however by no means been to. There are simply so many. In a great way.
Even so, we often find yourself going again to previous favourites after which dipping a toe into the unknown with one or two which are new to us.
We additionally love working from a tip-off.
However this vineyard, which has solely been round for a short while, is in a totally completely different basket.
John Wallace Wines, Rothbury
We first met Richard Carried out at an exquisite lunch at Esca, Bimbadgen Property’s excellent restaurant, in 2021.
At that time, Wealthy was (and nonetheless is) the pinnacle winemaker for Bimbadgen and had simply began his personal label John Wallace Wines.
Quick ahead to 2023 and we lastly make our option to his cellar door, and to say we’re impressed is an understatement.
John Wallace Wines’ Cellar Door
We arrive simply as Wealthy is pouring out a tasting for a gaggle of seven or so, speaking them by means of what’s of their glasses.
It provides us time to take a look spherical this stunning cellar door with out him understanding how nosy we’re.
Contained in the stout gray partitions of this two-storey cottage and its inexperienced corrugated veranda roof is a shiny, ethereal area you’re feeling you would spend all day in.
The little tasting counter, the place we plant ourselves, speaks precisely of Wealthy’s wine-making model. It’s clear, shiny and modest; although on the similar time, you already know painstaking thought and planning has gone into each component.
Above the cabinets to our left is a staircase whose banisters add a homeliness that tells you precisely what Richard and his pretty accomplice Beth need this cellar door to be: an extension of their very own house.
Up the steps, beneath the uncovered beams and thatch of the pitched roof, is an extended desk good for a big group tasting.
In a single nook is a lounge, performing as one other breakout area however in actuality making the room really feel much more like a lounge. And in one other nook, somewhat pile of toys that his two beautiful daughters have donated (and nonetheless play with once they’re round).
It’s precisely the household vibe that Wealthy and Beth needed once they first considered their cellar door and the way visitors ought to expertise their wines.
Wine-Tasting At John Wallace
Again downstairs, Wealthy takes us by means of his wines and once more we’re reminded of how vital household is to him. Not solely is the John Wallace Wines emblem a layered silhouette of him, Beth and the children, however all of the wines have household ties too.
Certainly, the identify of the vineyard, John Wallace, is made up of his two grandfathers’ forenames.
We work our means by means of Wealthy’s vary—from the laid-back glowing rosé to the strong but well-structured shiraz, chatting in regards to the wine, but additionally every little thing else too.
And though we’re buddies, I do know that Wealthy is like this with everybody he meets. His inquisitive, pleasant nature is so extremely disarming, it’s straightforward to neglect that he’s one of many Hunter Valley’s nice winemakers.
Exploring The Remainder of The Cellar Door
We end our tasting and head outdoors. Since we’ve been right here, Beth, the women and even pretty Tilly golden lab have arrived, submitting the area with laughter and much more brightness. It’s nearly irritatingly healthful!
The cellar door is on stunning acreage with vines slicing straight traces the opposite aspect of the garden and a surprising willow draping over a broad deck across the again. That is the place Wealthy and Beth are planning to have their wedding ceremony quickly.
Sure, there are many cellar doorways within the Hunter Valley. However there aren’t many like this one.
John Wallace Wines
168 Palmers Lane
Opening hours are Thursday-Monday 10am-5pm. This venue is child- and pet-friendly.