1221 Beechworth Wangaratta Road, Everton Upper, VIC
03 5727 0233
In 1997, the owners of Indigo Vineyard embarked on a countrywide journey to find 'The Great Vineyard Site' - the greatest location in Australia to grow grapes. They travelled high and low, and ended up at a sheep property known as 'The Big Valley'. Located twelve kilometres outside Beechworth, the property stood at about 450 metres elevation and had granitic sand and clay loam soils. Thanks to being located on the inland side of the Victorian Alps, it was decided that the location would receive enough sun, yet be cool enough to create complex and elegant wines. It was also discovered that the vineyard site came with the remains of a 'secret village'.
The story of the secret village begins in 1875, when George Briscoe Kerferd made the decision to extend the railway to Beechworth. In building the railroad, a village was developed to house the workers, and it disappeared after the railroad was completed. In planning and planting the vineyard, the owners of Indigo winery discovered the remains of what appear to be portions of the secret village on its land. Adjacent to the current Rail Trail, the site reveals dilapidated brick kilns that were used to make the bricks for the railway’s culverts and bridges.
To honour this history, Indigo Vineyard makes a special, limited edition range of wines called the Secret Village. The production is so limited that you’ll likely never taste them outside of the winery’s cellar door, and the winery planned it that way.
Opened in 2008, Indigo Vineyard’s cellar door has an outdoor terrace and is surrounded by beautiful countryside. Upon arriving, you will be seated at a table and given a Riedel glass, tasting notes, and a taste platter of cheese and fruit. Bridget Hooper, who runs the cellar door, will guide you through a tasting of the vineyard’s wines.
In general, the Beechworth Wine Region is best known for its pinot noir, chardonnay, shiraz, and cabernet sauvignon, and Indigo Vineyard grows all of these, as well as seven other grape varieties. For each grape variety, Indigo grows several different clones as well, and the majority of its wines are made in small parcels of less than 100 cases. Indigo Vineyard’s wines display minimal winemaker intervention in order to let the inherent characteristics of the vineyard’s soil and environment come through. Indigo Vineyard began solely to grow grapes, and the owners believe that a great vineyard is the true fountainhead of great wines. For many years, the company sold all of its grapes to local wineries, such as Brokenwood, De Bortoli, and Seville Estate.
Today, Casey White manages the vineyard, and Rob Hawkings oversees many of the daily operations (or, as the winery puts it, ‘Bridget Hooper runs the cellar door, Casey White grows the grapes, and Rob Hawkings interferes in everything’). For over twenty years, Rob has been a partner in Brokenwood Wines, and Brokenwood Wines’ winemaker, Simon Steele, makes Indigo Vineyard’s wines in accordance with Indigo’s philosophies.
In addition to the regular wine tasting, Indigo Vineyard offers the Ultimate Taste Experience for those who want to have fun while getting up close and personal with the wines. For $20 per person, the winery provides its wines along with the Jean Lenoir Le Nez Du Vin, a tasting kit that includes aromas to test your identification skills.
Additionally, a boxed Riedel wine glass is given for you to take home. Of course, if you don’t want to go home that’s understandable, and farm-stay accommodation is located adjacent to the cellar door.