A new cellar door for a Mount View classic
In 2022, the multi-award-winning Briar Ridge Vineyard ticks over the golden anniversary of 50 years, and in preparation for the year ahead the team has been working hard to ensure the Mount View vineyard is in tip-top shape for what will be a year of celebrations.
The newly revamped and much roomier cellar door space was designed with comfort and relaxation in mind. Meeting up with Customer Experience Manager Steve Pike, Steve took us on a tour of the cellar door and chatted us through some of their exciting plans,
“We wanted to set the cellar door space up to be as sensory as possible, so we went about creating some nice warm spaces amongst the industrial steel of the tanks. It’s kind of like inviting people into the winery for a tasting, but not in a sterile environment."
“Our approach to wine tasting has always been to offer a really personal, and comfortable experience, we don’t like to rush people whether they want to sit down to a game of chess, or take in the views from the balcony.”
In addition to the much roomier cellar door, a visit to Briar Ridge not only includes a tasting of some of their best wines, but a complimentary cheese plate for you to sit and enjoy at your leisure.
“When guests arrive, they’re welcomed and then set up with water, wine glasses, spittoons, and a complimentary cheese plate, which is full of local produce.”
General Manager Michael Bentley goes onto explain,
“We want to work with as many local suppliers as possible, all of the charcuterie we source is from producers within a small radius, we’ve used local olives, and the cheeses are either local or top-quality imports. Then if you like what you're tasting you can purchase many of the products from here in the Rose Room to take home and enjoy.”
When it comes to the wine the overflowing trophy cabinet says it all with the Briar Ridge Vineyard name renowned for crafting both the quintessential Hunter classics of Chardonnay, Semillon and Shiraz – and equally so for their small-batch modern styles, including Barbera and Tempranillo.
If award-winning wines are your preference, be sure to try Briar Ridges most recent award-winner, the 2018 Dairy Hill Semillon, which earned the vineyard and Briar Ridge Winemaker Alex Beckett the 2020 New South Wales Wine Show ‘Governor’s Best Wine in Show’ award.
Speaking of Alex, Michael says, “He's a gun, only 28 years old but is wise beyond his years. He's far more mature than me and I am twice his age [laughs].
"He’s currently studying for a Master of Wine, which only a handful of winemakers in the world have done and shows his dedication to not only his craft but thirst for knowledge. Alex has been with Briar Ridge since 2016 and has been responsible for our unique collection of classic and alternate varieties, and he has some very exciting plans coming up over the next 12 months.”
In addition to the cellar door reno’s Michael goes onto explain what’s to come at the end of 2021 and into 2022.
"It’s been a tough 18 months or so, but the down time has allowed us to think about what direction we wanted Briar Ridge to move towards, and then begin putting those plans in place."
Following the opening of the new cellar door, in the coming weeks Briar Ridge's new eatery - the Briar Rose Room will open its doors. The deli-style eatery is where you will be able to enjoy beautiful high-end cheeses and charcuterie, prawns, and oysters, the ideal menu for the warmer months ahead.
There has also been some distilling work going on behind the scenes, and plans for a new, and very exciting, addition at the back of the vineyard are well underway. Whilst we can’t disclose any more at this stage what we can say is it’s going to bring to the Hunter Valley a fresh new experience, and we can’t wait.