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First wine win for Deniliquin couple

Southern Riverina wine company Restdown Wines took out its first award at the recent NSW Small Winemakers Wine Show.

January 15, 2013 4:09am

Jo and Don Hearn at Restdown Wines, near Deniliquin


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Southern Riverina wine company Restdown Wines took out its first award at the recent NSW Small Winemakers Wine Show.

Judges enjoyed the Restdown 2011 Semillon, which rated a Bronze Medal ahead of many other boutique wineries across the state.

The company, which is operated by Jo and Don Hearn, is situated outside of Deniliquin and sits in the triangle between Barham, Deniliquin and Echuca. They planted their first vines in 1996 and started selling their first grapes to big wineries in 1999.

‘‘We’ve had a long-held passion for winemaking,’’ Mr Hearn said.

‘‘We established our own winery in 2002, and have since then run our business with a strong leaning towards sustainable eco-friendly/organic practices.

‘‘Winning this award is testament to the long arduous hours that winemaking brings.

‘‘Let’s face it: it isn’t pretty work. It has the perception that you sit under the vines drinking a glass of vino, however the work can be hot, dirty and hard — it’s incredibly rewarding though.’’

Mrs Hearn said while theirs was a small, boutique-style vineyard, output was growing each year and sales had doubled in the past six months.

‘‘We produce approximately 5000litres of our own wine each year; that’s nearly 6000 bottles of wine each year, or around 500 dozen bottles,’’ Mrs Hearn said.

‘‘We also believe strongly in the area and our local community, and as such are part of the recently launched Backroads Trail touring route.’’

She said the touring route invited visitors to ‘‘explore, taste and enjoy’’ their way through a variety of farm-gate enterprises and attractions in the fertile plains country.

Restdown has 7ha of grapes, with 90 per cent sold to big wineries and the remainder kept for its own wine.

It produces a range of varieties, including semillon (it has sold out of its award-winning 2011 range and is just about to bottle its 2012 vintage), chardonnay, merlot, sangiovese — (sometimes used for rose), cabernet sauvignon and shiraz.

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