Like many things in life - a combination of fate, good timing and happen-stance saw local pharmacist Stuart Anderson plant 10 acres of carefully selected vines in Maiden Gully, just outside Bendigo.
Balgownie Estate was the first vineyard planted in the Bendigo district in more than 80 years. The first vines were planted in 1969 – 5 acres of Shiraz and 5 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon, with a further 5 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon planted in 1970.
In 1999, brothers and passionate wine lovers, Des and Rod Forrester bought the estate and set about refurbishing the vineyards and winery. The improvements made have already begun to show in wine quality with 2002 the start of a particularly pleasing run of vintages. They later purchased the Yarra Valley property in 2002 branching out to produce some popular summer whites; Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, along with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
What other varietals/blends may be on the horizon?
We have a Single Vineyard Shiraz coming out of our Bendigo Estate in the near future.
Why did you choose to expand Balgownie Estate into the Yarra Valley?
One of the current owners Des Forrester’s personal passion for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay prompted the purchase of a second site in the Yarra Valley in 2002. The vines planted there are now producing young vibrant grapes and the characteristics are an impressive true reflection of the site selected. Branching out to the Yarra Valley also provided the opportunities for Balgownie Estate to produce two popular summer whites; Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. The Black Label was created to home these new quality wines.