Nicholson River Winery – Gippsland Wineries

Nicholson River Winery Cellar Door - Gippsland Wineries

This is the 22nd Victoria winery I have visited.

A big thing I’ve noticed from my move from Perth’s Swan Valley to Victoria’s Gippsland wine region is the fact that the wineries are rather far apart. I’ve gone from being able to visit as many wineries as I could handle in a day with minimal travel time to travelling an hour or more to visit one winery. Of which seems to be in the middle of nowhere.

It’s definitely a change a pace for me. But like all good travel stories, if there’s wine at the end, then it’s going to be a good day!

Which leads me on to the East Gippsland Twin Rivers Farm, Food & Wine Trail which we heard about from the lovely owners at Tambo Winery. I’d spotted Tambo on Instagram, which is why we went out to visit them and I was pleasantly surprised to hear about all the nearby foodie delights. This included another winery less than 10kms up the road from Tambo – Nicholson River Winery.

Twin Rivers Farm, Food & Wine Trail MapTwin Rivers Farm, Food & Wine Trail Brochure

After sweet-talking Mr Spittoon, my lovely skipper, he agreed to include a stop at Nicholson River Winery on our little Sunday drive. The food and wine trail brochure we were given at Tambo, said this about Nicholson River Winery which had me intrigued:

Taste Gippsland’s most diverse wines. Enjoy new flavoursome wine styles by the glass…”

The cellar door

The cellar door is typically open 10am to 4pm most days however it’s always wise to call ahead, just in case. You can find their contact details over on the Nicholson River Winery website.

Just from walking up to the cellar door, I could see these guys have a wonderful spot. The property overlooks Gippsland’s Nicholson River and I could imagine in the warmer months the courtyard would get very busy.

I am also a sucker for wine barrel planters!

On the sign preceding the cellar door, we learnt that the winery was established in 1978 (happy 40th birthday guys!) and that they also do cheese and antipasto platters. Unfortunately, it was a bit of a gloomy and cold day when we visited (July), so we’ll have to visit again later in the year to soak up the views with a glass of wine in hand on the patio.

View from Nicholson River Winery - East Gippsland

Inside the cellar door it was nice and cosy and warm. I immediately checked out the wines available to taste. I was surprised to see a Sangiovese in the line-up and was happy to see a couple of Chardonnays!

Nicholson River Winery - Gippsland WineriesNicholson River Winery Cellar Door for Wine Tasting

The wines

Nicholson River has a number of styles of wine available. From sparkling wines to dry white, rose and red wines and sweet wines. Bottle prices range from about $25-$45.

Nicholson River Winery Wine Tasting - East Gippsland

What I found very interesting (okay, I was pretty stunned actually) about our tasting at the Nicholson River winery cellar door was that for the red wines which were obviously a bit cold and wouldn’t show their potential, were zapped in a microwave for about 10 seconds to obviously get them up to the best temperature for tasting. This is definitely something I haven’t come across before and after further investigation, I actually found this on Wine Spectator about microwaves and wine. Here’s a snippet:

“But the microwave has become an increasingly useful tool, not just for wine lovers but even for some winemakers, too. Even though it might seem like an aggressive way to warm up wine, all microwaves do is excite the water molecules. One of my favorite wine lovers, Wine Spectator editor at large Harvey Steiman has blogged about how useful the microwave has become.”

So there you go! Mr Spittoon and I are actually a couple of weirdo’s as we haven’t had a microwave in our home since moving to Australia. It’s not that we’re against them, we’ve just never bothered getting one and heat things up the slow way on the stove or in the oven.

Anyway, back to to the tasting…

I really enjoyed tasting all the wines and I particularly liked the 2015 Sangiovese, however, the 2 bottles I definitely couldn’t walk away without buying were the bubbles and oaked Chardonnay (no surprise there Casey!) which were wrapped up in an onion bag for us to take away. The quirkiness gave us a good giggle.

Nicholson River Winery Purchased Wines

Nicholson River Winery 2011 Pinot Noir & Chardonnay Sparkling Wine

I would say we have at least a bottle of bubbles once a week, life’s too short right?

We recently visited Nicholson River Winery here in Gippsland where we picked up this 2011 Pinot Noir (70%) & Chardonnay (30%) sparkling wine. It’s made in the traditional Méthode Champenoise method (just like French Champagne) and spends 5 years on lees. It was disgorged and bottled in November 2016.

My notes: In the glass, it’s a creamy yellow shade with very speedy mesmerising bubbles. Crisp notes of pear and apples with some cracker like whiffs come through on the nose. And in the mouth, it’s so smooth with creamy citrus and a great depth of elegant flavour. A stunning bubbly that I’ll definitely buy again.

All opinions are based on my own taste buds. Wine is subjective & always evolving, so make sure you drink what you enjoy!

Nicholson River Winery 2011 Pinot Noir Chardonnay Sparkling Wine

Nicholson River Winery 2015 Montview Chardonnay

We are loving exploring the Gippsland wine region here in Victoria. I have to admit they make bloody good Chardonnay around here. Which makes me one very happy lady!

We recently visited Nicholson River Winery which is where I picked up this bottle of their 2015 Montview Chardonnay which is fermented with wild yeast and in barrel.

It’s a vibrant golden sunshine colour in the glass. The nose is wonderfully creamy with hints of nuts and citrus. Upon the first sip, you are indulged with plentiful flavours of lemon curd and baking spice. This is my kind of Chardy! $38 a bottle.

All opinions are based on my own taste buds. Wine is subjective & always evolving, so make sure you drink what you enjoy!

Nicholson River Winery 2015 Montview Chardonnay

The wine labels

I love a good story behind a wine label! Pictured on the Nicholson River Winery labels are some bottlebrush flowers and a map. All of which relate to the Gippsland Lakes region. The map is of the region and the crimson bottlebrush (Calistemon citrinus) is grown widely in the region. The label is about promoting their area and I think it’s great. Be proud of where you come from and who you are!

You can read more about the label, right down to the font choice, on their website.

To conclude

If you in East Gippsland, make sure you give Nicholson River Winery a call and head in for a tasting. The wines are made in small quantities (30-200 dozen) so if you’re looking for boutique wines with a European flair to them, you need to get there stat.

12 thoughts on “Nicholson River Winery – Gippsland Wineries

  1. One of our best wine tasting experiences. Ken taught us to ‘chew’ our wine and has a profound experience in wine. I’d go there again at the drop of a hat. Such a personable attitude. Definitely not BWS!

  2. That’s interesting to hear Greig. I definitely think if you live near a region and have the ability to pop out to 1 or 2 a day that’s a lot better than doing a ton in one go. At least that way you can make sure you really get to know each winery. Thanks for stopping by the blog 🙂

  3. Interesting hearing your change of pace. It’s very similar to the style we’ve recently adopted to focusing more on dedicating time to a rural area with a specific objective at one or two specific wineries instead of crushing 8 in one day just to try as many as possible. Glad to hear we seem to be on the right track! So interesting hearing about the microwave aspect by the way… I’m going to try this out now and see if it’s legit. Really awesome article Casey!

  4. It sure was a good day! I’m presuming it was to slightly warm the wines up as I visited in mid winter so room temp was below what you’d serve up reds. I need to get back there and ask them
    more questions I think!

  5. It sounds like a lovely way to spend a day! I love a good wine and food trail, since these two things can really enhance one another.

    That’s so interesting about the microwave. I’ve never heard of anyone microwaving wine to warm it up. I’m curious why they’re even chilling reds?

  6. Yes you definitely do! I’m loving the quirk and high quality wines around the region. I’ll definitely be asking them a bit more about their microwave method next time I visit for further details ?

  7. Thanks for popping by the blog Robin! Yes they popped it in the microwave in a seperate container before putting it in our glasses. Very intriguing! Let me know how your tests go ?

  8. What a lovely way to spend an otherwise gloomy day! I LOVE the onion sack! And this thing about microwaving the wine is new to me and fascinating! It wouldn’t just heat the wine, it get’s those molecules moving! I will be doing taste tests. I take it they microwaved in a separate container, then poured in your glass?

  9. We need to get to this region! We’ve never heard of this winery but love small artisanal boutique wineries. And, like you, have also never heard of microwaving wine…despite WS not sure we’d want to risk it!

Grab a glass of wine and let me know what you think...

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