A commitment to the past and future produces tastes for today at Barwon Ridge
For Geoff and Joan Anson, their Barrabool Hills winery is more than an opportunity to produce great vintages. It is a chance to combine a passion for viticulture with their dedication to sustainability.
After dabbling in wine-making as a side-project, the Ansons put careers in government and education behind them to turn their amateur interest into a permanent venture. A two-year search for the perfect location around Melbourne and beyond led them to a beautiful property just outside Geelong.
Re-establishing a tradition
It was not just the quality of the soils and the vistas over the Barwon River and the You Yangs which grabbed their attention. The history of the area – which was at the heart of the region’s first wave of wine-producing vineyards in the 1800s – also stood out.
Geoff and Joan established Barwon Ridge Winery in 1999, planting a selection of grape varieties while building a strong connection to the environment through their commitment to Landcare.
They released their first vintages – a Shiraz and a Marsanne – in 2004. The winery now produces eight different wines annually with an estimated total of 100 plus wines released to date.
A legacy for the future
As well as producing great wines, the couple have overseen the reforestation of their land. They are raising rare indigenous plants from seed to bring the native woodlands on their property back to life. Students from Gordon TAFE regularly travel to the property as part of their conservation and land management studies.
Barwon Ridge keeps its vineyards as chemical-free as possible. You will often find Geoff and Joan hand-weeding between the vines. It’s a task they say improves their understanding of the plants and, in turn, the ability to produce better quality wines. The couple aims to leave the property in a more sustainable condition than when they bought it 20 years ago.
Bringing the Hills to Highton
Darriwilll Farm Highton is delighted to now stock Barwon Ridge Wines in our Highton Village shop.
Varieties in store include the 2014 and 2015 Shiraz along with the 2015 Pinot Noir. Local, national and international wine shows have recognised the vintages with gold, silver and bronze medals. All Barwon Ridge Wines are vegan with no animal products used in their production.