After Shaws Road, it was onto Lovegrove Vineyard and Winery in Cottles Bridge. Arriving there late on the Saturday afternoon during the "Open Cellars of Nillumnbik" weekend, saw plenty of foot traffic at this cellar door.
Walking the grounds camera in hand, as has become my little ritual I was struck first by how hot the day had become and the rustic nature of the Lovegrove vineyard and cellar door.
The cellar door building is an interesting rendered pinkish terracotta, as you walk down the side to the cellar door, you walk past a lush picnic area with fig trees. The cellar door interior is a rustic white wash render on brick, making a cool place after a hot walk around the hills of the vineyard in what has near 30 degrees.
The tasting bar on the right and a dining hall straight ahead in the next room, the place had a few patrons wanting to taste wine, (plunger) coffee orders being taken - no espresso machine here. A guitarist played in the dining hall and sang (a bit of a theme for the day after Shaw's road's pianist) adding to the feel of the place.
Lovegrove is an owner operator run vineyard and winery, which meant that the cellar door is staffed by the owner Stephen Bennett and Louise Heathcote and I had the pleasure of a few sips of wine and a quick chat with Stephen.
Lovegrove is located in the Diamond Valley, a sub region of the Yarra Valley. The Vineyard established in 1983 has 10 acres under vine with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet
The vineyard due to the soil type and micro climate rainfall is naturally low yielding
The winemaking philosophy is minimal intervention; "using 'time honoured techniques' a passion and intuition with minimal chemical additives or intervention".
The wines are sold at the cellar door, exported to the UK and to the Turtle Island Resort in Fiji.
Tutored wine tastings are available for groups
I was impressed by the grounds near the cellar door, providing on a clear warm day as it was on the 20 October when I visited a wonderful family area to enjoy the antipasto or cheese plate whilst sampling the wine.
As I arrived mid afternoon and due to the busy (Open Cellars of Nillumbik) weekend it was difficult to get much from a disjointed discussion. It will be worth going back in the near future to enjoy the facilities with a little more time.