A Mountain of Love for the Grampians
Nestled at the base of Mount Cole sits a small family-owned and run vineyard producing boutique wine.
Mountainside Wines, about 20 minutes from Ararat, was opened about three and a half years ago by Jane and Shane Goninon.
The pair bought the winery, which has been in existence since 1998, in search of a tree change from Melbourne and have made the brand their own.
Jane and her husband fell in love with the beauty of the Grampians region, part of the reason they decided to buy and settle at Warrak.
“I particularly love the pink-purple light on fresh summer mornings,” she says.
She says Reeds Lookout, not far from Halls Gap, is one of her favourite spots in the region
“I can see much of the beauty that is the Grampians,” she says of the lookout, which gives visitors views over Victoria Valley, Victoria Range, Serra Range, Lake Wartook and the Mount Difficult Range.
The couple bought the winery, previously Mt Cole Wineworks, from Ararat Order of Australia recipient and doctor Graeme Bertuch, who died late last year from motor neurone disease.
Mountainside Wines produces viognier, shiraz and Nebbiolo varieties, all from grapes from a single vineyard.
The vineyard has just under seven acres of shiraz vines, two and one-half acres of viognier vines, and one acre of Nebbiolo vines.
Jane says Mountainside Wines’ newest wine, the 2017 Viognier, is the one to try.
The vines are hand tended and grapes are hand-picked each season, producing about 1000 cases per year with a focus on making premium wines.
“It is light and fresh in flavour and aroma with gooseberry, guava and lime bursting out of the bottle,” says Jane.
Jane says she and Shane are always striving to grow better grapes and make each vintage better than their last, citing perseverance as one of the most important things to remember when running their winery.
As well as its boutique winery, Mountainside also features a bed and breakfast, The Blue House.
Formally a post office business, The Blue House was transported to the Warrak property in the 1990s and has been refurbished into a comfortable self-contained cottage with queen bedroom, kitchen and wood fire; a space to rest, relax and rejuvenate.
It is surrounded by some of the most beautiful vistas in the region with views of Mount Cole, Mount Buangor and Mount Langi Ghiran.
Visitors can also enjoy the serenity of the accommodation and take part in a vineyard and winery tour, including a tasting.
Mountainside Wines has been exhibiting for the past four years at Grampians Grape Escape.
Jane says when she is not at her stall, she is most looking forward to visiting some of the delicious food producers attending the festival.
“Apostle Whey cheesemakers, Red Rock Olives and Grampians Goods Co.,” she lists as her favourites.
Jane’s summary of the festival encapsulates what the event is all about, and what brings her back each year.
“Good food, good wine, great music and fantastic atmosphere,” she says.
Mountainside Wines and The Blue House is at 197 Mount Cole Road, Warrak. Call 03 5354 3279 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.