McWilliams cellar door, The Barrel, has been renovated and will open in time for its 50th anniversary.

The cellar door was opened in 1973, designed by Glen McWilliam to the precise scale of a wine barrel. This design and the original fig tree planted in front of the building still remain, but the interior has been extensively renovated.

Upgrades to the venue include modern, lodge-style furnishings, with space to accommodate up to 35 guests, and a 360° Cheminee Cast Iron Fireplace from Sculpt Fireplaces. The space also includes a private tasting room, the Friar Room, which pays homage to the winery’s retro novelty Friar mascot.

McWilliam’s new owners, the Calabria family, have worked over the last 12 months with a team of local designers to bring new life to the space.

Second generation winemaker and managing director Bill Calabria AM spoke of the fond memories many visitors have of the Barrel.

“Many people associate the name McWilliam’s with the Barrel and the many fond memories of rich fortified tastings inside it. The building has become a landmark in the Riverina and was a hub for much of the great history behind the McWilliam’s name. This reopening feels like a new era for us and a great opportunity to reconnect with friends and visitors with some incredible new wine experiences,” said Calabria.

The Hanwood Estate has contributed to Australia’s winemaking heritage, especially in its production of fortified wines. The first vines were planted at Hanwood in 1913, a pioneering step in the Riverina region. The newly curated cellar door wine menu will allow visitors to sample a range of wines from the McWilliam’s portfolio, including its 660, Alternis, Single Vineyard, 1877 collections, and the Eliza Jane Shiraz. Guests will also be able to taste and purchase limited cellar door releases like Topaque, Apera and Ruby Reserve.

The new Fortified Discovery Tasting Experience showcases a line of aged tawny, including 5, 10, 20 and 30 year old fortified wines. The Fortified Cocktail Made to Mix Experience introduces visitors to cocktail-ready tawneys paired with tonics, and the Fortified & Cuvee Chocolate Flight explores four fortified styles paired with Cuvee chocolates.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *