These magical artist cubes are popping up across South Gippsland

Words by Jay Dillon
Images supplied

Regional Victoria is a natural home for artists working in all types of mediums. Perhaps they are drawn to the natural environment for inspiration, or perhaps its the slower pace of life that provides the mental space for inspiration to form. For these artists working in remote regions, the problem has always been the lack of spaces to actually display their work. In South Gippsland, the local council has decided to step up and support their local artistic community.

Next time you are travelling through the lush green landscape of South Gippsland, you might just spot a few colourful little additions to the landscape. The ArtCubes are designed to be portable, off-grid artist sanctuaries where local creatives can either set up a temporary gallery for their work or else, actually utilise the space as a working studio.

Art Cubes Gippsland

The ArtCubes is an initiative of the South Gippsland Shire Council with the support of the State Government’s Outdoor Activation Grant, and as Shire mayor Nathan Hersey tells us, the spaces have been developed with a few different goals in mind.

It is our hope that the ArtCubes will bring extra tourism to the area as well as send a message to our local artists that they are actually valued by our community and valued by our Shire.

 The adapted shipping containers have been given a new lease on life with mood-lifting murals on the external walls by local artist Melanie Caple. Inside, the pods are lined with ply and the end doors can be opened right up to allow visitors to easily enter and engage with the artist and their work.

The three ArtCubes are solar-powered and completely self-sufficient, meaning that they can be placed in unexpected locations across the Shire, either all together or separately.

‘The ArtCubes are currently sited at Coal Creek Korumburra, after which they will move to Loch, Mirboo North and then over to Fish Creek’. Mayor Hersey tells us. ‘These towns all have fantastic artist communities, so it will be interesting to see what they do with the ArtCubes’.

That’s the wonderful thing about an initiative like this where the council provides the platform for the local artists to express their work and their community in their own unique way.

Gippsland Art

Applications will remain open for other South Gippsland towns and private businesses to host and utilise the ArtCubes for creative exhibitions and performances by contacting Arts Development Officer Mary Sullivan (

For those keen to catch the installations in the wild, keep an eye on the council social media feed for all the details (details below).


What: ArtCubes
Where: Coal Creek Korumburra 
When: Now until the end of July, then moving to Mirboo North
More info:  Visit South Gippsland

Regional art gallery hosts Australian Women’s Weekly retrospective

Words by Tehya Nicholas
Images supplied

1933 was a big year for the history books – some events more pleasant than others. An unequivocal high, however, was the inaugural publication of The Australian Women’s Weekly. A magazine as ubiquitous as it is beloved, at the height of its popularity, around half of all Australian women were reading it.

Now, 90 years on and still in circulation, The Weekly has partnered with Bendigo Art Gallery to launch The Australian Women’s Weekly: 90 Years of an Australian Icon.

Opening May 27 and running until August 27, this free exhibition pays tribute to some of the trailblazing women who have made the Weekly a magazine “for women, by women” since its inception.

The exhibition will showcase some of the magazine’s historical highlights, including the inspiring women who have contributed to its unmatched success, the changing fashion and style trends featured in its pages, and the creative domestic projects inspired by the magazine.

Those with an interest in fashion, journalism, or the course of feminism in Australia are in for a field day here. Flip through editions from the 50’s and 60’s with their articles on current affairs, fashion, cooking, homemaking, motherhood and romance. And chart the journey to the publications of today which cover news, lifestyle, celebrity issues and more.

Exhibitions Bendigo

Visitors will also have the opportunity to learn about the inspiring women who helped shaped the magazine. Among them is Dorothy Drain, a courageous wartime reporter, who reported from the front lines during World War II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

Of course, The Weekly has always been a source of inspiration when it comes to fashion and style, and the exhibition will feature a selection of garments by leading Australian designers, worn by notable Australian women on recent covers. These include Toni Maticevski worn by legendary culinary entrepreneur Maggie Beer, Sonia Cappallazzo for actress and writer Miranda Tapsell, and an Aurelio Costarella gown worn by Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.

Dressmaking, interior design, craft, and cooking projects inspired by the Weekly will also feature. The guest of honour – the iconic Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book, which has been inspiring creative parents for over 43 years – will be there too.

“We are beyond thrilled to be bringing some of The Weekly’s most memorable moments to the Bendigo Art Gallery in what will be a spectacular start to our 90th celebrations. The Australian Women’s Weekly has a rich heritage of combining agenda-setting news stories, real-life features with a legendary lifestyle and food offering since 1933. 90 Years of an Australian Icon brings the breadth of The Weekly’s content to the fore, demonstrating its tremendous influence on the lives of Australian women.”

Whether you’re a fashion lover, a history buff, or simply looking for some creative inspiration, this exhibition has something for everyone. And with the V-Line train fares recently capped at $9.20, there’s no reason to miss out.


WHAT: The Australian Women’s Weekly: 90 Years of an Australian Icon
WHERE: Bendigo Art Gallery
WHEN: 27 May 2023 – 27 August 2023
MORE INFO: Bendigo Art Gallery

We wish to acknowledge the Dja Dja Wurrung people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

How many of these hidden Nillumbik Shire gems do you know?

Words by Jay Dillon
Images supplied

Baldessin Studio

Baldessin StudioHidden away in the Red Stringybark forests behind the town of St Andrews, is one of Victoria’s most significant printmaking studios. The solid timber and stone studio was hand-built by acclaimed printmaker George Baldessin in the 1970s and is now managed as a not-for-profit artists’ studio by George’s widow Tess and a small team of passionate artists.

The studio opens to the public only a few times of the year, including the Nillumbik Open Studios (not participating in 2023), small-group workshops and courses and Printmaker’s Picnic at the end of each year.

Check their website for upcoming dates.


Eltham BarEntering the doors of Naught Distilling is a real surprise to the senses. Sitting at the end of a long driveway in Eltham industrial estate, one would expect to find a light and bright working distillery with perhaps some timber bench seats and a tasting bar.

Instead, visitors are greeted with a low-lit sensual interior with velvet curtains, small leather booths and an extraordinary display of hanging floral arrangements and spot-lit oil paintings.

The gins range from the Classic Dry Gin to the more adventurous Sangiovese that is combined with grapes from the Yarra Valley. We highly recommend taking a seat on the green velvet barstools and ordering a cocktail flight and a few morsels from the snack-based menu.

Make a booking here.

Diamond Creek Murals

Diamond Creek MuralsThere’s nothing like the feeling of turning a corner and being engulfed by the sight of large-scale art in a place where art (in theory) has no place to be.

That’s the feeling as you head around the back of the Diamond Creek main street to the car park off George St. These large 20-metre works by local artists are all very different in style and turn an everyday car park into a gallery amphitheatre.

‘Run Time Error’ by street artist Itch is like a surrealist storybook scene featuring an elderly man just moments from stepping on the computer delete button. ‘Silly’ Sulley blends fluorescent aerosol colours to form a loving dingo family. And Mark “Meataxe” Taylor brings us a landscape image of a young girl in a field that becomes almost abstract when taking in the work up close.

Now you know exactly where to park the next time you are in Diamond Creek.

Queenstown Cemetery

St Andrews AttractionsBack in the gold rush era of the 1850s the town of St Andrews was actually called Queenstown, and a cemetery was created on the edge of Smiths Gully to service the community. There is no existing map or plan of the cemetery and it has been left to future generations to slowly mark out the 380 burials at this site.

The earliest graves appear to be for the Chinese miners who were often buried here along with other itinerant workers in unmarked graves. It’s a hauntingly beautiful place to walk amongst the grave markings that vary from a simple outline of stone to more contemporary engraved stone monuments.

The names engraved on the tombstones are familiar to the local community as many of the descendants of these hardworking miners still live within the region.

Click here for directions.

We wish to acknowledge the Wurundjeri people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

The long-awaited restaurant opens at Mount Monument and it’s everything we hoped for

Words and images by Jay Dillon

It’s the cellar door and sculpture park that’s been wowing people since it opened at the base of a mamelon (a rocky mound created from volcanic activity) in 2019. Now, a fine-dining restaurant has opened at the front of the building with views across the vineyard towards Mount William and Lancefield.

Chef Ben Salt is a local of nearby Gisborne and has created a four-course set menu for diners ($75pp) with a focus on showcasing local producers, producing minimal waste and complimenting the estate’s cold climate wine varieties.

First course features our favourite cheese makers from Castlemaine ‘The Long Paddock Cheese’ and a selection of cured meats. Next is a kingfish crudo served with citrus slices, pickled fennel and sprigs on top. The main on our visit was the option of a confit duck leg with Shiraz glaze or pork belly soy chilli caramel sauce. The menu changes with the seasons, so check the website when booking to find out what you are in for.

There is also the option to enjoy smaller dishes from the kitchen in the cellar door area like pea and mint arancini and vibrant burrata with this season’s heirloom tomatoes and basil leaves. We highly recommend the oysters with Mt Monument Riesling Mignonette, matched beautifully with a glass of their 2022 Heathcote Greco.

Mount Monument Winery

It’s only the third weekend of the restaurant opening which is a partnership between owners of the property, architects Nonda Katsalidis and Jane Collins with local hospitality veteran Georgia Veitenheimer-Bradwell and the Lewis family.

The fit-out is quite industrial in aesthetic. The truss frame is painted rust red to compliment the simple concrete prefabricated tilt slab with high ceilings. Small sculptural pieces on the back wall are prototypes and ideas developed by Nonda for the sculpture park. The furnishings are dark wood and create a stark silhouette against the light emanating from the windows that look East across the property.

We love how each new addition to this Macedon winery is slowly revealed to us and always comes with a surprising twist, rumours are that the next addition is a small eco accommodation option on the western side of the property with views over Hesket, hanging rock and the stunning sunsets. Stay tuned.


What: New restaurant for Mount Monument Wines
When: Friday 11am – 8pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am – 4pm
1399 Romsey Rd, Romsey
How Much: Set course $75pp
More Info: Mount Monument

We wish to acknowledge the Wurundjeri people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Our guide to exploring Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula

Words by Gwen O'Toole
Images Mike Emmett

From heart-pounding adventures to award-winning wineries, family adventures, natural escapes, culinary indulgences and so much more, visiting Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula is certain to satisfy any type of traveller.

Wander the laneways and tuck into delicious cafes, enjoy a locally made craft beer in the sunshine at Little Creatures or a tasting paddle at the Queenscliff Distillery. Indulge in a bit of retail therapy in Hesse Precinct Queenscliff; a historic street packed with boutique homewares shops, bookstores, clothing, gifts, eateries and more.

Alternatively explore local wineries and fine dining at the award-winning Provenance Wines where head chef Nathan McIver will make your senses explode with his take on modern Australian cuisine featuring considered, local and seasonal ingredients. Likewise, pack your appetite because La Cachette Bistrot is a fine dining experience worth travelling for. If you’ve got a sweet tooth or you’re travelling with kids, make a stop at Scandinavian Ice cream Co for a real treat.

Bring an empty esky and visit the farm gates and gourmet provedores, there’s no way that esky will come home empty.

Feeling outdoorsy? The Portarlington waterfront is an ideal day at the beach with cafes and accommodation steps away. The recreational reserve area here offers a dog-friendly area, picnic spots, playgrounds and the like. Alternatively, Buckley Falls is a scenic spot to stand in awe of the cascading water into the Barwon River.

There are walking trails here with plenty of spots to stop and take in the view. While you’ve got your comfy walking shoes on, take a stroll along the tracks at the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse. Built in 1902, the lighthouse is still manned today. Walking tracks circle the lighthouse and extend down the rocky headland to the beach below.

Feeling nostalgic? The Bellarine Railway in Queenscliff has heritage train rides and special events for kids including Thomas the Tank Engine-themed days and serves as the boarding location for the gourmet Q Train dining experience as well as the popular Blues Train.

Why not stay and explore? While both Geelong and the Bellarine are close enough to make for a great day trip, there’s plenty here to keep you discovering something new and exciting every day. Book your stay at any one of the incredible range of accommodation options from boutique B&Bs to serviced apartments suiting couples, families and even your pooch at the R Hotel. It’s also only a 5-minute walk to the beach!

Families might also enjoy the range of options at BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Queenscliff Beacon, it’s perfectly positioned across the road from the beach, at the entrance to Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale on the Bellarine Peninsula. From villas to apartments and campsites, there’s an option for all types of travellers and it features all the facilities Big4 are known for including a tennis court, playground, indoor heated pool, the famous Big4 jumping pillows and more.

Getting There:

Getting to Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula is easy. Geelong is just an hour’s drive from Melbourne and you can continue to the Bellarine just another 20-30 minutes onward along the coastlines, weaving through views of Port Phillip Bay and rolling vineyards.
Alternatively, hop on a V/Line train from Melbourne’s South Cross Station and make your way straight to Geelong. Ferry services also operate between Queenscliff on the Bellarine Peninsula and Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula, as well as Portarlington on the Bellarine Peninsula or Geelong Central and Docklands in Melbourne.



Appearing in videos:

Basils Farm
La Cachette
Geelong Cellar Door
R Hotel
Proveance Wines
The Range @ Curlewis
Ingenia Beacon Queenscliff
Portarlington Grand Hotel
The Bookshop at Queenscliff
Bellarine Distillery / The Whiskery
National Wool Museum
Little Creatures

Bendigo Art Gallery announces ambitious new exhibit ‘Australiana’ for 2023

Words by Tehya Nicholas
Images supplied

Bendigo Art Gallery will soon be home to a major new exhibition, Australiana: Designing a Nation. Opening to the public in 2023, it is an epic curation of over 200 artworks and objects from key chapters in our country’s history and includes several Australian masterpieces.

The exhibition, which includes paintings, illustrations, furniture, jewellery, moving image, and fashion asks what defines Australian art — and by extension Australian identity and style. Viewed together, the broad curation of works takes the visitor on a tour through history, viewing how the notion of Australian identity has evolved across time: from the colonial, mythical “larrikin” iconography popular in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, to First Nation peoples culture and connection to Country.

“From the long-standing traditions of Australia’s First Peoples, to historic and modern moments of nationalistic fervour in the colony, the exhibition captures Australia’s social and cultural history and popular notions of identity and style,” says Bendigo Art Gallery Director Jessica Bridgfoot.

Including works by famed artists Vincent Namatjira, Ken Done, Jenny Kee, Kenny Pittock, Tom Roberts, Tony Albert, Sidney Nolan, Hilda Rix Nicholas, and Rennie Ellis, the exhibition acts as a series of time-capsules showcasing how these artists both viewed themselves and their country. What they saw as popular, critical and interesting is reflected in the work — which together weaves a rich tapestry of perspectives.

Two of the most recognisable works of Australian art, Tom Roberts’s iconic Shearing the Rams (1890), and Russell Drysdale’s Moody’s Pub (1941) will be on display, thanks to a partnership with the National Gallery of Victoria. The Australiana Fund collection, which is used to furnish the residences of the governor-general and the prime minister, is also a key supporter.

The vast exhibition—which is free to enter—balances history with humour, nostalgia with the new. In a playful turn, Kenny Pittock has been commissioned to make a new major sculptural installation for the exhibition titled 100 Australian Ice-Creams. While many contemporary works from Indigenous artists will be on display; a cornerstone of the exhibition overall. Important viewing for anyone wanting to see what the term Australia means today, Australiana: Designing a Nation is not to be missed.

WHAT: Australiana: Designing a Nation
WHERE: Bendigo Art Gallery
WHEN: March 18 – June 25, 2023
MORE INFO: Australiana: Designing a Nation

We wish to acknowledge the Dja Dja Wurrung people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Notorious criminal Mark “Chopper” Read’s rare paintings on display

Words by Tehya Nicholas
Images Supplied

What remains to be explored about the Australian pop culture icon and notoriously hardened criminal Mark “Chopper” Read? His artistic side, as the new exhibition at Geelong Gaol Museum, proves.

The exhibition showcases a collection of rarely seen artworks painted by Read throughout his life, with most of the works swathed in potent primary colours in contemporary style. They inflict a certain rawness to the viewer. Vibrant? Oh yeah. Aesthetic intrigue saturates — the means, the ends, and the very heart of the style leaves one puzzled over the interior life of one of the country’s best-known figures.

Entirely self-taught, Read’s paintings were very often a social commentary and pay homage to a few particularly obvious influences; Archibald Prize winning painter Adam Cullen (with whom he shared a friendship from the 2000s onwards), as well as Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso. He termed his style “Primitive Pop” and managed to capture the essence of his subject and, like his books, recount the vividness of his underworld past.

The collection has been beautifully framed and is — rather ironically — displayed in the infamous Geelong Gaol Cell Block where Read lived during the 1980s. The artwork will be on display from July 31st to October 3rd and a limited run of prints are available for sale during the exhibition.

Read considered himself a Robin Hood figure, often preying on criminals and giving money to those in need, which may explain the recurring iconography of bushranger Ned Kelly in his paintings. His colourful life has been subject to many cultural references; from the famous 2000 film Chopper starring Eric Bana, to the TV series Underbelly, though perhaps of greatest cultural significance are his semi-autobiographical fictional crime novels, children’s books, and original stage show which he toured across Australia.

Read was born and lived in Melbourne, and between the ages of 20 and 38, lived outside of prison for only 13 months. His painting, writing, and stand-up career began after his stint at Pentridge Prison which has arguably proved more successful than his criminal career. An impressive 500,000 copies of Read’s books have been sold — making him one of Australia’s most successful authors. Geelong Gaol Museum’s exhibition provides a visually arresting counterpoint to Read’s writing works, alongside which a fuller portrait of Australia’s most popular criminal can be gleaned.

WHAT: Chopper Framed – Art Exhibition
WHERE: 202 Myers Street, Geelong VIC 3220
WHEN: July 31st – October 3rd, 2022
MORE INFO: Geelong Gaol Museum

We wish to acknowledge the Wadawurrung people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Engaging in First Nations art to enhance knowledge this NAIDOC Week

Words by Della Vreeland
Images Supplied

When Belinda Briggs thinks about good art, she thinks about pieces that engage and highlight perspectives otherwise unknown.

‘It can be a learning opportunity,’ the Yorta Yorta artist says. ‘An opportunity to appreciate the talents and the amazing body of knowledge that people carry, and an opportunity for that body of knowledge to add value to our lives in whatever capacity we agree on.’

According to Belinda, Indigenous art is becoming increasingly valued, with First Nations artists given the permission they deserve to create in safer and more celebrated environments.

‘I think over the years there has been a demand and space for people to perform (their art) and safely express themselves that wasn’t there in the past.’

The theme for NAIDOC Week 2022 is Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! – dedicated to working towards systemic change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Whether it’s seeking proper environmental, cultural and heritage protections, Constitutional change, a comprehensive process of truth-telling, or calling out racism, NAIDOC Week asks all Australians to rally together for betterment.

Belinda says engaging with Indigenous artworks and becoming intimately acquainted with artists’ stories is one way for everyone to enhance learning and, as a result, empower us to effect change in our communities.

‘You might find yourself drawn to the (art) and then you’re like, “who’s the artist, what do they intend to express?”,’ she says.

Belinda is the indigenous curator at the Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) and co-curator of the prestigious SAM Indigenous Ceramic Award. Founded in 2007, the Award aims to recognise the rich and diverse use of the ceramic medium by Indigenous artists all across Australia while providing a national platform to share personal, historical and deep cultural learnings from artists and Country.

‘Ceramics is a continuation of an ancient connection to earth in many ways,’ Belinda says. ‘There are some master ceramicists out there and really talented and amazing stories to share.

‘I know most clay is processed but I’m seeing more and more that artists are looking to use clay from Country which I think is really beautiful.’

Since the Award’s inception, close to 100 Indigenous artists have showcased their work with previous prize winners including the likes of Jack Anselmi and Aunty Cynthia Hardie, Vera Cooper, Janet Fieldhouse, Irene Mbitjana Entata, Danie Mellor, Rona Rubuntja, Yhonnie Scarce and Carol Anilyuru Williams.

‘It’s played such an important role in giving space to emerging artists and their practise,’ Belinda says.

Belinda was immersed in creativity from a young age. It isn’t something she feels was necessarily taught to her, but rather a natural element interwoven seamlessly into her family’s everyday doings – in her Mum’s cooking, her Dad’s creative expression, and the makings of her grandfather’s artefacts.

‘Art has always been present in one way or another,’ she says. ‘It’s a lived experience and I don’t think about it as creativity.’

‘Through high school, you do your different subjects and I guess then I started to learn about the western world and the whitefella way about art. But in terms of working in this area, it didn’t really occur to me I could have a career in the arts.’

And as a woman with a rich cultural experience and an influential role at one of the state’s leading museums, Belinda’s work has the ability to inspire a shift in people’s hearts and minds.

‘Change is so slow and you won’t know there’s been change until you have enough hindsight, so sometimes I don’t know. But I think what I do is hold the space for learning and conversations and an exchange.

‘It’s not just one way. It’s a transference of my learnings into the community.  By being there, you’re cultivating relationships and people are able to better see you and engage with you because of your visibility.

‘It makes it possible for new horizons and there’s a sentiment of hope and new possibilities.’

NAIDOC Week is celebrated between July 3 to 10, 2022. For more information, visit


WHAT: SAM Indigenous Ceramic Art Award
WHEN: 13 August – 04 December 2022
WHERE: Shepparton Art Museum, 530 Wyndham Street, Shepparton
FIND OUT MORE: Shepparton Art Museum

We wish to acknowledge the Yorta Yorta people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

Violet and Ivvy – a new place to meet in Warragul

Words: Amanda Kennedy
Photography: Johnathon Tabensky
Design and style: April Pyle


After 20 years as an award-winning photographer in the Northern Territory, April Pyle upped sticks and moved to West Gippsland, as you do. It was there she opened Factory One, a successful hybrid space selling plants, furniture and homewares, art and more. For some, almost 10 years of running a thriving business would have been enough, but not for April.

She is about to embark on her third act, Violet and Ivvy. Located on a buzzy commercial strip just out of central Warragul, this incarnation has doubled the floor space of Factory One, which in addition to retail allows for the incorporation of a café spot, corporate meeting space and wine bar.

The expanded retail section will showcase a diverse range of beautiful homewares, including unique pieces of furniture, a veritable jungle of plants in covetable pots, plush cushions and throws, candles and vases – all curated by April’s professional photographer eye. It’s the kind of place where you go gift-shopping only to leave with gifts for yourself as well.

There is still plenty of original art dotted around the venue, including a series of playful paintings from Gippsland artist Janine Riches and sculpture pieces from Sydney-based powerhouse duo, Gillie and Marc, whose artwork has found homes in hundreds of private and public collections around the world. A large living wall has been installed by long-time project collaborator Nerida’s Plants.

The semi-private meeting spaces are the perfect spot for corporate get-togethers so you can all remember what you look like in real life and thoughtful design means there are plenty of spots to recharge devices.

‘We’ve put in USB ports in our bench seats so people can come in and work on their laptop and plug in their phone if it’s going flat. We’ve been very conscious of the space and how we’re using it,’ explains April. ‘It’s a sanctuary and a great healing space as well with all the greenery.’

To recharge yourself, simply grab a flat white and perch by the curved glass wall for a little time out. Food offerings will be along the lines of sweet treats and light snacks, while the wine bar will serve cured meat and cheese boards when it opens.

It is these types of mixed businesses that might well be the way forward after the last several years of a challenging retail environment. Violet and Ivvy is set to officially open June 4th, though the liquor licence may take a little longer.


WHAT: Violet and Ivvy
WHERE: 137 Queen St, Warragul
WHEN: café/retail 8am – 5.30pm 7 days, wine bar 12-8pm
MORE INFO: keep an eye on their soon-to-launch website

We wish to acknowledge the Gunaikurnai people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

St Huberts reopens as Hubert Estate after multi-million dollar development

Words by Jay Dillon

Locals of the Yarra Valley have been observing the slow rising of the ground from the Maroondah Highway for the last two years. It’s either a giant mole that’s dug its way from the UK or there’s a new cellar door on its way. 

The St Huberts vineyard was established in 1862 by Charles Hubert de Castella, contributing to the first wave of vine planting which began with Yering Station to the west. The estate built a huge reputation for high-quality cabernet wines, particularly in the late 1970s and 1980s. Through these years the estate passed through many hands, most recently; publicly listed winemakers and distributors Treasury Wines Estate.

Around 2016 the vineyard property was sold to entrepreneur Gerry Ryan, who was responsible for the $16 million redevelopment of Mitchelton Wines, Nagambie. Treasury Wines has clearly not been willing to give up the heritage wine label and instead will continue to own the St Huberts brand and rent back the newly developed property, renamed as Hubert Estate, from Gerry Ryan.

‘For visitors, it will be an fantastic proposition, as you go there and do a number of interesting things across the day. Rather than just a tasting at the cellar door’. Explains Tony Layton, Business Manager St Huberts.

The property’s soft launch today (March 31) will focus on the ‘mole mound’ centrepiece building which will house St Huberts Cellar door on the top floor and a wine retail shop called Notes. Here visitors will be able to access over seventy different labels from the Treasury Wines portfolio, as well as the ‘Notes’ brand of wines that targets emerging varietals and unorthodox winemaking techniques. The basement level opens as a gallery space featuring indigenous artists from Victoria and beyond.

Quarters at Hubert Estate restaurant will open on April 8, which is built around a fast-casual and high-quality menu. Expect pizza, pasta, burgers, salads and of course an extensive wine list. As the team finds their sea legs, the restaurant will open for five days for the first month.

It’s a massive investment into the Valley, with a function and event space called ‘Harriet’ and an eighty room hotel slated to be completed by the end of the year. There are other food and wine offerings to be added in the future, in addition to a high-end day spa.

Hubert Estate is shaping up to be a centrepiece of the Yarra Valley’s ‘golden triangle’, bringing something new whilst paying respects to the heritage of the site. One imagines Charles Hubert de Castella would approve.


WHAT: Hubert Estate
WHEN: Cellar door, retail store and gallery open today March 31. Quarters at Hubert Estate restaurant will open on April 8.
WHERE:3 St Huberts Rd, Coldstream
MORE INFO: Hubert Estate

We wish to acknowledge the Wurundjeri people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.