One of Victoria’s most exciting winemakers and the co-owner of the iconic Cumulus Inc, Jayden Ong is on track to open a brand-new winery and cellar bar in the Yarra Valley in January 2021.
Tucked in the very heart of Healesville, the new venue will showcase wines from Ong’s four labels – bottled up the road at Chestnut Hill Winery and along the coast in Dromana – as well as indoor/outdoor dining areas and a contemporary events space.
For over ten years Ong has been growing, harvesting and bottling wine in the region, impressing the industry with his innovative approach to winemaking without too much fanfare. He says the cellar bar and winery will be a place for locals and travellers to enjoy excellent wine, without the fuss.
“We wanted to build something from the ground up where we could deal directly with people face to face,” Ong said. “What we’re going to offer is a sharp product with wine, food, service and ambience. Somewhere for people to feel comfortable without having to sit on Ikea chairs.”
His One Block, Maison de Ong, Moonlit Forest and eponymous Jayden Ong labels all features on the wine list, and are joined by other select local wines and a stellar international collection.
If you fancy sampling all the fruits of Ong’s labour, the team is offering Wine Experiences – a generous wine tasting run entirely by those who made it. The aim, Ong says, is to educate and enthral sommeliers and newbies alike in the rich winemaking process.
We want wine to be inclusive, rather than restrictive. I think, let’s get everyone participating, relaxed and having fun.
Food wise you can expect the same level of detail found at Cumulus Inc, if not the size. Japanese chargrilling is the hero here, with other small bites like cheese boards, mussels and tasty offerings from Meatsmith and The Cheesemaker being the sidekick. All produce either comes from Ong’s organic garden or other local pastures, so freshness is guaranteed.
At the helm of the news digs are Ong and his wife Morgan. The duo collaborative runs their vineyard in Mount Tollebewong, the Yarra Valley’s highest vineyard by elevation, and tend to it with entirely organic and biodynamic practices – setting them apart from many key players.
“The bare minimum is organic for us. It’s important for general health, wellbeing, satisfaction and peace of mind. The net result is you get much better, stronger plants and you’re not reliant on agrochemicals.”
That level of pride and commitment to excellence seeps into everything Ong does, and we’re certain the new cellar bar and winery will be no exception. Opening in January 2021, it’s going to be epic.