The week leading up to my trip out to Seville Hill I had read that the winery was hosting a Jazz session on the terraced lawn the coming Sunday, so on 17 November 2013 I drove out to Seville Hill to check it out.
Upon arrival it just seemed too quite, no congestion in the little car park, only a small gathering sitting on the picnic table on the grass (terraced lawn) towards the platform that overlooks the cherry orchard. A small tour group were boarding their mini bus reading for departure, no sounds of music in the air.
Whilst I was looking around trying to find where the band and the people were, as it was obvious I was in the wrong place, a quad bike appeared from what I was to find out later was the cherry orchard and, riding past and parking out front of the big green shed, the rider hopped off and entered a cream door with a big round glass window. I walked towards where he had disappeared behind the door at first assuming that it was a staff entrance when I saw the sign - this was the cellar door.
As I approached the cellar door, the rider of the quad book stepped out, taking the opportunity I enquired about the the jazz session. I was informed that there wasn't any on this weekend, a little bummed I instead headed into the cellar door to at least taste the wines out of the visit.
Walking into the cellar door the room is quite small with the tasting bar immediately in front of you running to the right. The quad bike rider called to a member of his staff to attend to me and he was off. I was greeted and we started the tasting with the fizz.
Seville Hill 2008 Sparkling Chardonnay Pinor Noir
Seville Hill 2010 Rosé
Seville Hill 2010 Sauvignon Blanc
Seville Hill 2012 Reserve Chardonnay
Seville Hill 2009 Merlot
Seville Hill 2009 Pinot Noir
Seville Hill 2009 Tampranillo
Seville Hill 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
Seville Hill 2009 Reserve Shiraz
Seville Hill 2010 Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc
Seville Hill 2005 Vintage Port
Seville Hill Cherry Liqueur
During the tasting I remarked on the Merlot that all the wines to that point had been such easy drinking to the attendant, as I started my sentence the quad bike rider returned into the cellar door, hearing my remark informed me that all of his wines were released when ready to drink. As the conversation evolved, I was introduced to John D'Aloisio, the owner and winemaker at Seville Hill.
The wines were (referring to my notes at the time) "beautiful, highly drinkable" as they were made according to the style and variety then aged in stainless steel for up to 2 years before bottling and release. I can attest that all of the wines tasted were worth the journey.
- Seville Hill is owner and operated by John and Jose D'Aloisio. The family prior to establishing the vineyard had been orchardists in the Yarra Valley.
- The Seville Hill Vineyard was established in 1991
- Seville Hill hosts jazz sessions on the lawn on specific dates, if you wish to attend one of these as I found out and discussed with John, it is best to book ahead to ensure the session is one and provide details should the weather be prohibitive to the event. The events calendar can be found on the Seville Hill website (by clicking this link).
Like many of the Vineyards/wineries visited to date, the experience for the individual visitor to date is a little bare. Should the jazz had been playing, of course I may feel differently from my experience on the day. Running into and having the opportunity to speak with the owner/viticulturist and winemaker for a few minutes was a wonderful opportunity. However as i later was to find out my questions were answered, yet the tour group before received a presentation from John about the vineyard and the wines.
This observation of group visits is something that has been a reoccurring theme on recent visits - where a 'tour' group will have a prearranged presentation, a single visitor does not receive this base level of information form their visit. This is not specific to Seville Hill, rather an ongoing observation for (what I will call) the independent visitor.
Although I missed out on the Jazz session when I visited, the approach, investment and detail that goes into the wines is certainly evident in the tasting. I may have missed out on the sound, however the music I experienced was from the bottle.