Moorabool Valley-based winemaker Austin Wines has launched a Rent a Vine experience which gives those who take part the opportunity to be part of the entire winemaking process over the course of 12 months.

Limited to 50 participants the Rent a Vine experience includes five catered workshops at Austin’s and will include up to 20 hours with a winemaker and being part of the grape picking and crushing, vineyard pruning, blending, as well as bottling and branding.

Austin’s Wines owner Scott Austin, told TheShout the idea came from one of the company’s winemakers.

“He’d seen something similar overseas and said it was a great way to connect our customers to the whole winemaking process and what we go through in a year.

“People are really interested in the wine, but also the whole process and what’s involved in actually making wine and we thought this would be a great way to bring them closer to that. By doing these workshops they are able to achieve that and then walk away with a couple of dozen wines that essentially they have made themselves.”

Talking through what’s involved in the five workshops, Austin told TheShout: “The first one will be tasting a few Pinot Noir styles that we made last year, and that will mean we can get an idea of the style of wine that they prefer: things like less oak, more oak, riper fruit, lower alcohol.

“Once we got some sort of consensus then we’ll do another workshop around when we will pick the fruit. So whether we pick slightly earlier or slightly later in terms of ripeness. We’ll then take them through picking, how we do that, taking the fruit into the winery, crush it, they can stomp the grapes and get a real feel for what happens during harvest, which is always a manic time of year.”

He added: “The third workshop will involve blending. So we’ll look at the wines in barrel and we’ll start to bring the different wines together and determine what that looks like. So they will get a feel for what happens prior to bottling.

“Then they will be involved in the bottling and creating a label which will be bespoke to them. Then we will finish off with an end of year party, which will be a celebration of all the work that has gone into making the wine.”

“This is the first time we’ve ever introduced something like this, and we’re looking forward to showing everyone what really goes into winemaking, whilst also giving our guests a series of luxury experiences at the same time. We’re glad to be able to offer an experience that’s quite outside the box when it comes to purchasing wine.

“Our family has been making wine since the early 1980s. Winemaking is in our blood, it’s our passion. It will be great to share our insight and process to this degree for the first time with Rent a Vine.”

Further cementing its calibre as a Halliday 5-Star Winery, Austin’s has released some innovative new wines, including a limited-edition late harvest riesling and, for the very first time, a cuvee.

The Rent a Vine experience is the ideal gift for wine lovers, newlyweds, or for significant anniversaries. For more information or to join the waitlist visit

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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