The Port Macquarie winery for every member of the family
When you’re heading north along the Pacific Highway just pass the Port Macquarie turnoff, have you ever noticed a small boutique winery sitting right off the main road? After years and years of driving straight past the venue, we decided it was about time we called into the Cassegrain Wines; and my golly weren’t we pleasantly surprised.
Descending from an old winemaking family in France, John and Eva Cassegrain began their winemaking journey in Port Macquarie in 1980 with the planting of their first vineyard. Three decades later, alongside their sons Alex and Philippe, Cassegrain Wines have enjoyed much success and have become known for their award-winning wines that are full flavoured, yet soft and elegant.
“The core philosophy at Cassegrain Wines is the marriage of traditional French winemaking methods with modern Australian technology, an innovative approach that gives Cassegrain Wines a unique point of difference.”
The Port Macquarie winery is considered a multi-regional producer, sourcing grapes from New England (Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Merlot, Shiraz, Tempranillo), Orange (Chardonnay, Merlot, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Shiraz), Cowra, Hilltops and Canberra District (Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Chardonnay, Riesling, Shiraz), Tumbarumba (Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir), Hastings River (Chambourcin, Chardonnay, Semillon, Verdelho), Hunter (Semillon, Shiraz, Verdelho), and Mudgee (Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Semillon, Shiraz).
“This approach allows Cassegrain Wines to focus on the strengths of each region, blending fruit and crafting wines of complexity and real interest, but true to style and variety.
“Vineyard parcels come from growers throughout NSW who are dedicated to producing outstanding fruit; with the principal aim being to ensure that the characteristic flavours of the fruit are maintained and enhanced during the winemaking process, delivering excellence in each and every bottle.”
The cellar door experience itself, is set right in the middle of their working winery in an intimate space just below ground level. One thing we love about Cassegrain is these single serve bottles – for those of us who are terrible at picking just a few bottles of wine, mix and match 24 of these and take all of Cassegrain’s flavours home with you.
Now, Cassegrain Wines is not just a winery, the Port Macquarie venue also plays host to an array of events every year including concerts, festivals, community events, weddings, corporate functions and their very popular Port Macquarie Horse Riding Centre.
A recent addition to the building has seen restaurant Twotriplefour takeover the kitchen. The proudly local, paddock-to-plate eatery focusses on sourcing seasonal produce and has a strong philosophy of savouring the region.
“Born from a long-standing love of all things local to the Mid North Coast region, this thoughtfully curated restaurant concept, by four great mates, has been a long time in the making.”
Pull up a chair indoors or if the weather’s nice sit out on the patio and relax with a table full of the region’s best food and wine. To share, we sampled the Housemade Focaccia with Twotriplefour garden pesto, Near River Produce Pork Scotch Egg, Salted Barramundi Brandade Croquettes and paprika aioli, Buttermilk Fried Cauliflower and blue cheese dressing, Near River Produce Pork Terrine and piccalilli, and the Burrawong Gaian Duck Liver Parfait with pear puree, pickled pear and roasted walnut.
Make a whole day of visiting Cassegrain Wines and spend the morning horse-riding through the vines, followed by a wine tasting in the winery’s cellar door, followed by a scrumptious feast at Twotriplefour and finish the day with a wander through the venue’s stunning gardens.