What is the Cellar Door?

Sample the large wine range while hearing about the unique winemaking process for the winery

If you’ve ever thought of going to a winery, you would of most likely heard of the phrase cellar door. When describing it, some may think of this as fancy in house bottle shop, but it is in fact much more complex. Essentially, This bonus feature is a sophisticated wine tasting room, where visitors can sample on the winery’s range of wines, as the staff discusses the processes, aromas, and flavours featured in each sample tested. Depending on the style of the winery, the cellar door can change in size, staff, and atmosphere.

History of Cellar Doors

Back in the day, the wine was both made and stored underground, using the cool climate to achieve stable temperatures in the wine. These underground wineries were huge, with multiple tunnels and sections storing large barrels and bottle racks. In the last century, customers started buying directly from these underground rooms, knocking on the door to the cellar instead of purchasing it at a bottle shop. Over time, this ‘cellar door’ evolved to become a tasting and sales area, separating from the winery to become a different section. The term ‘cellar door’ is mostly an Australian term now, rarely used overseas. These days most cellar doors aren’t even underground anymore, but are typically decorated in either a traditional style or modern sleek depending on the winery in question.

Why you should go to a cellar door

So, what’s all the fuss about? You can easily grab a bottle from the local bottle shop and enjoy it just as much as you would at the birthing place. However, the experience and knowledge you receive at these establishments can turn a regular old sip of red into an unforgettable experience. Boutique wineries especially specialise in these cellar doors, with the owners even playing a role in telling visitors the secrets to their creations. Many of the wines offered in the cellar doors aren’t even available in regular bottle shops and are only sold directly from the winery. Giving you a completely unique bottle for your next dinner party, romantic date, or last-minute present.

Where to go?

There are so many winery destinations within Australia, as the country has climbed up the charts in the wine industry. Hunter Valley is one of the top spots, famous for its supreme and unique wine varieties. Here are just a couple to choose from the endless numb.

  • Tempus Two

    Tempus Two is renowned for having the greatest large cellar door in the entire region! The striking cellar door strives in celebrating clean and refined elegance, with a beautifully designed interior to pair perfectly with the delicious wine on offer.

  • Usher Tinkler

    Certainly not one of the most prominent winery brands in Hunter Valley, but Usher Tinkler is home to one of the best small cellar doors around! It is a family-owned business, with the third generation now controlling the business. The wine cellar offers you an exceptional one on one experience, letting you get to know not just the wine, but the history and beliefs of the family running it!

Related article: The Top Eateries of the Hunter Valley

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