You might have noticed the grapevines along Remembrance Drive.
The growth is not familiar but the wine certainly will be.
Michael Unwin Wines has planted its own vineyard on the Cardigan property and within two years will move the whole operation there from the current Beaufort base.
Michael Unwin said it had been a few years coming, and promised some new varieties from the move.
“This is just a natural path for us, and we’ve got the vineyards in development here, so we’re going to be able to grow some of our grapes right next to where we can make it and sell it, and hopefully Ballarat people will come out and enjoy it,” he said.
“We’re at just over 500 metres above sea level, which makes us cool naturally. Chardonnay and pinot noir are the mainstay of that (climate), but then we are looking at other varieties; gamay and pinot blanc, and verdejo.”
The last variety mentioned is more of a risk than the others.
“There’s not very much of it in Australia,” Mr Unwin said.
“We think it’ll grow, but you’ve just got to find out. Then you’ve just got to have Australians wanting to drink it.”
The new base is part of a long-term plan, with the move expected to be finished within two years and the winery holding the property for two years now.
It will be another move eastward for the winemaker.
“We started our business in 2000 in Ararat and we moved to that site which has been very good, but here we sell a lot of wine to the population of Ballarat and we actually live in Ballarat,” he said.
“And we grow our grapes in the Pyrenees and the Grampians and the Ballarat region.”
Where the grapes are currently grown is important but the warmer climate varieties will continue to come from established suppliers.
Mr Unwin said the land even had remarkable differences within its borders.
“This is the edge of the volcanic red soil. Right here is the southern(most) extent of that red potato country,” he said.
“It’s on fertile spectrum for viticulture, but we’ve got a more adverse climate, so the the two things can be balanced quite well.”
And there is a subtle ridge that will give the vineyard south-facing and north-facing sides.
Adding to its natural features, a long-term plan is clear when you walk onto the land.
Visitors will drive between two sets of vines to the building underneath hopefully tall sweeping trees from cuttings from the Avenue of Honour (taken with permission).