On the third Thursday of every November, France erupts in massive celebration in honour of the uncorking of the lastest Beaujolais Noveau, always the first French wine release of the season. This time, Wine Guild Victoria beat the French to it with a truly great combination of Beaujolais and French food prepared by chef Marcus Gildon.
The primary aim of Wine Guild Victoria is to provide opportunities for members to develop a greater knowledge, understanding and appreciation of wine, viticulture, winemaking and the Australian wine industry in a friendly and enjoyable environment. The Guild also aims to promote friendly interaction between members and between members and wine industry professionals.
Balgownie Estate was one of the pioneers of commercial winemaking in the Bendigo Region, first planting vines in 1969. Established by the legendary winemaker Stuart Anderson, Balgownie Estate was a significant force in the rebirth of the Victorian wine industry.
Balgownie Estate’s red wines were inspired by the classic wines of France and the Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Estate Shiraz were highly sought after from the first vintage release in 1972. In 1999 brothers and passionate wine lovers Des and Rod Forrester heard the rumour that Balgownie Estate was to be offered for sale. Digging out a couple of prized bottles of Balgownie Estate Cabernet Sauvignon from Rod’s cellar, they found themselves buying the vineyard and the winery in Bendigo. Excited by the potential to rebuild this iconic Victorian brand, they set about refurbishing the vineyards and winery.
The Forrester brothers also purchased the Yarra Valley site in 1999, prompted by Des Forrester’s passion for pinot noir and chardonnay and began planting a 7 hectare vineyard and building what is now the cellar door, restaurant, conference centre, 70 spa suite apartments and a state of the art Day Spa.
Current winemaker Tony WInspear has continued the Balgownie tradition of producing wines of exceptional quality since his appointment in 2012, with the Yarra Valley Estate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir having a complexity and depth of flavour that reflects the brilliance of the Estate wines from Bendigo.
Tony has provided Wine Guild Victoria with a hogshead of magnificent Balgownie Bendigo reds for our annual Bottling Days in each of 2016 and 2017.