wine fans

June 21, 2024 BY

Top drop: Bendigo Winegrowers Association executive committee member and Sandhurst Ridge winemaker Paul Greblo has a sip in the barrel room. Photo: BRENDAN McCARTHY

AN esteemed line-up of some of the region’s finest wineries are preparing to host a behind-the-scenes weekend offering the public a rare opportunity to taste vintages straight from the barrel.

The wineries to be featured during the 6 to 7 July Barrel Wine Tasting Weekend will be Balgownie Estate Bendigo, Mandurang Valley Wines, Sandhurst Ridge Winery and Chaperon by Grangehill Winery. Balgownie will also be hosting Lome Vineyard for the two days.

Bendigo Winegrowers Association executive committee member and Sandhurst Ridge winemaker Paul Greblo said the tasting is designed to complement the association’s two annual festivals – the Winemakers Festival in Rosalind Park and Heritage and Hidden Spaces.

“The association is always looking for different things to attract people first of all, to wine, and then secondly, to Bendigo wines,” he said.

“We thought we really needed to add another midwinter event to keep people motivated towards wine, at a time when all the new ones will most likely be in barrel by then. This year corresponds with the 2024 vintage being in barrel.

Paul Greblo is inviting people to get behind the scenes of the region’s winemaking at the Barrel Wine Tasting Weekend, and learn about the process, from yard to glass.


“The beauty of it is you can go from one vineyard to another, and the wines will be quite different because of the different soils, because of that slight difference in climate, and probably due to a little bit of input from the winemaker too in terms of nuances.”

Mr Greblo said the exclusive occasion will give people who are interested in the intricacies of wine a chance to taste them from when they’re virtually born, to the barrel development stage, and then the finished product in the bottle.

“Barrels are important because they impart other characteristics to the wine but marry up with them very well, so it’s a good way to learn,” he said.

“People find it quite exciting because when you taste a new wine in the barrel, it’s quite raw.

“Then you come and taste a wine that’s six or seven years old. That’s very different.”

Bookings are available for the Bendigo Winegrowers Association’s Barrel Wine Tasting Weekend across 26 individual sessions at the five different wineries on the Humanitix website.