From a family with nearly 100 years of wine experience comes a winery and brewery that places great wine, beautiful beer and positive customer experiences at the top of its list.
The Hickinbotham story begins in the late 1920s when the affectionately dubbed, Grandfather Hick, initiated the first Australian scientific winemaking course at Roseworthy College in South Australia. This put Australia on the map in terms of winemaking expertise and production of quality wines.
It seems Grandfather Hick passed his passion for wine onto his grandson Andrew, who started Hickinbotham of Dromana with his partner Terryn in 1988. They planted the first vines at the 15-acre property in that year and in 1991, their first vintage was created.
Since then, Hickinbotham of Dromana has consolidated its name by concentrating on its inherent viticultural and winemaking strengths. Andrew is considered a specialist in cool-climate grape growing and oversees the production of chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and merlot, as well as the more unusual aligoté and taminga varieties at the vineyards.
One of the secrets to the consistent quality is the minimalistic way in which they are grown. The philosophy of using natural soil enrichment and pest control methods allows the vineyard to dictate the flavour and story of the wine from each vintage. The wines are allowed to age in barrel until they are ready for drinking, and their softness and richness of varietal character shines through.
Hickinbotham of Dromana also boasts a successful brewery, established in 2006 with the help of the then-amateur brewer Cameron Turner. His love of creating great beer grew through many years of home brewing, a passion he has since turned into a career at Hickinbotham.
Cameron has used his love of beer to create a range of boutique brews including pilsner, pale and brown ales, stout and porter under the label Hix Beer. Like Andrew, he follows a minimalistic approach in his brewing, using the German Purity Law of 1516 – no added anything. His natural techniques have seen Hix Beer win a number of accolades, including awards annually in the Australian International Beer Awards since 2011.
Taste your way through Hickinbotham of Dromana’s beer and wine at the relaxed Cellar Door, nestled in the grape vines. Featuring live music on weekends, and an open fire to cosy up to in winter, it offers an excellent experience year round.
Once you’ve decided on your favourite drop, head into the restaurant where Head Chef, Marcus Levy, creates dishes of the nest local produce to perfectly complement your choice. There is a sharing menu if you’re looking for something to slowly nibble on, or some absolutely stunning and flavoursome main dishes if you have a more substantial hunger. The menu changes throughout the year and showcases the produce of that season, both from the kitchen garden and local suppliers.
One of the best parts of the restaurant and Cellar Door is the glorious views across the vines to Port Phillip Bay. Andrew and Terryn have created an experience that truly has it all at Hickinbotham of Dromana – from the food with a view to the hand-crafted wine and beer, the team will look after your every need.