Balgownie Estate was one of the pioneers of commercial winemaking in the Bendigo Region, first planting vines in 1969. Established by the now legendary winemaker Stuart Anderson in 1969, Balgownie Estate was the first vineyard planted in the Bendigo district in more than 80 years.
The emergence of Balgownie Estate as a serious red wine producer in the 1970's led to the rapid expansion of the central goldfields wine growing region and was a significant player in the rebirth of the Victorian wine industry. The 33 hectare vineyard is situated on a gentle slope overlooking Myer's Creek at Maiden Gully. This superb site of alluvial soil has major plantings of cabernet sauvignon and shiraz with smaller amounts of pinot noir, chardonnay, merlot, cabernet franc, petit verdot and viognier. The conditions for premium wine grape growing are ideal with long hot summer days ameliorated by very cool overnight temperatures. This allows optimum ripeness while retaining that vital core of acidity.
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.
In 2002 the Forresters purchased the Yarra Valley site and began planting a 7 hectare vineyard and building what is now a cellar door, restaurant, conference centre and 69 one bedroom spa suite accommodation and a state of the art Day Spa.
The Yarra Valley vineyard is planted with pinot noir and chardonnay and fruit will begin to come on line from 2007. Currently we have contracts with a handful of the valley's top growers and the quality of the fruit is clearly seen in the wines we've produced. These wines have already achieved plaudits through both the wine media and shows including a Gold Medal at the Royal Melbourne Show for the 2003 Yarra Valley Pinot Noir.
This early recognition of our Yarra Valley wines has been very welcome indeed and we believe the quality we have in barrel will further cement our reputation in the region.