An ideal mixture of homely and grand, and with wines which might be each approachable but advanced, John Wallace Wines and its lovely cellar door are set to turn out to be a centre-pin of any Hunter Valley wine expertise.
Each time we go to the Hunter, we at all times 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 normally find yourself going again to previous favourites after which dipping a toe into the unknown with one or two which might be new to us.
We additionally love working from a tip-off.
However this vineyard, which has solely been round for a short time, is in a very completely different basket.
John Wallace Wines, Rothbury
We first met Richard Finished at a phenomenal lunch at Esca, Bimbadgen Property’s very good restaurant, in 2021.
At that time, Wealthy was (and nonetheless is) the top winemaker for Bimbadgen and had simply began his personal label John Wallace Wines.
Quick ahead to 2023 and we lastly make our approach 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 bunch of seven or so, speaking them by means of what’s of their glasses.
It provides us time to take a look spherical this lovely cellar door with out him realizing 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 are feeling you may spend all day in.
The little tasting counter, the place we plant ourselves, speaks precisely of Wealthy’s wine-making fashion. It’s clear, shiny and modest; although on the identical time, you already know painstaking thought and planning has gone into each ingredient.
Above the cabinets to our left is a staircase whose banisters add a homeliness that tells you precisely what Richard and his pretty associate Beth need this cellar door to be: an extension of their very own dwelling.
Up the steps, beneath the uncovered beams and thatch of the pitched roof, is a protracted desk excellent for a big group tasting.
In a single nook is a lounge, appearing as one other breakout area however in actuality making the room really feel much more like a front room. And in one other nook, a bit of pile of toys that his two attractive daughters have donated (and nonetheless play with after they’re round).
It’s precisely the household vibe that Wealthy and Beth needed after they first thought of 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 necessary household is to him. Not solely is the John Wallace Wines brand a layered silhouette of him, Beth and the children, however all of the wines have household ties too.
Certainly, the title 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 in addition every part else too.
And though we’re pals, I do know that Wealthy is like this with everybody he meets. His inquisitive, pleasant nature is so extremely disarming, it’s straightforward to overlook that he’s one of many Hunter Valley’s nice winemakers.
Exploring The Remainder of The Cellar Door
We end our tasting and head exterior. 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 virtually irritatingly healthful!
The cellar door is on lovely acreage with vines slicing straight strains the opposite aspect of the garden and a shocking 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.