A cellar door recently opened in the Canberra wine district is providing a new epicurean experience in the region. The impressive addition to Shaw Vineyard Estate opened in September 2018 on the sprawling grounds of the property, which is also home to Olleyville restaurant.
Owner Graeme Shaw’s construction background informed the build of the new cellar door, which was created in partnership with OZTALArchitects. The sophisticated building was made with 600 tonnes of concrete and is accented with polished timber and floor-to-ceiling windows, which provide expansive views of the Murrumbateman
The raw materials used in the construction and design of the cellar door are contrasted with colourful artworks from Australian artists, including Pat Harry and Frank Hodgkinson; and a window sculpture over the stairwell of the cellar door is appropriately crafted from dozens of wine glasses.
Shaw’s Cellar Door provides a more formal seated tasting space, as well as a leisurely lounge-style setting for guests who would like to relax with a cheese platter and a glass of Shaw’s award-winning cool climate wines. For groups seeking a destination to commemorate a special occasion, a private tasting room is also available for up to 35 people.
Graeme points to changing travel trends as a key motivator behind the construction of the new cellar door, commenting “people don’t want just a wine tasting anymore, they want an experience”. The winery is using this approach in its visitor attractions, including hosting Sculpture in the Paddock 2018, which saw around 8,000 people visit the property. This winter, the Shaw grounds will host a re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo.
Outside of the extra activities on offer, the cellar door is a serene setting in which to relax and enjoy the surrounding countryside. Travellers seeking a stop-off point on their way to and from the Australian capital may wish to include a tasting at Shaw on the itinerary. Try for a seat on the outside terrace (weather-permitting) for beautiful views and to watch the property’s resident alpacas; accompanied by a cheese platter and a glass of vino (the 2014 Reserve Riesling is particularly tasty).
Tastings at the Shaw Wines Cellar Door start at $5 per person, which is fully redeemable on bottle purchases. Cheese platters for two are priced at $20.
Further afield: three Canberra cellar doors
One of the original producers of the region established in 1971, Clonakilla is known for its Shiraz Viognier that has been described as “an icon wine” by James Halliday. The cellar door is now in the building that was once the property’s first winery, built by the family in 1977. clonakilla.com.au
A biodynamic producer making trendy styles like Pétillant-
Winner of the Best Small Cellar Door, Canberra District at the 2017 Gourmet Wine Cellar Door Awards, this producer makes small quantities of premium wines, including award-winning Shiraz and Chardonnay. collectorwines.com.au