A sense of ease and playfulness greets you at the gate of Kerri Greens. The vibe is laidback and unassuming; it's a place where curiosity is encouraged, kids and dogs are welcomed, and there's plenty of time and space for experimentation.
Three converted water tanks house the Cellar Door, Winery and Barrel Room. The circular buildings are all set into the rolling hills, blending effortlessly into the rural landscape. It's a clever design that assists with temperature control, keeping the cool-climate wines stored safely inside.
The complex is solar-powered, in line with the operation's sustainable ethos. Picnic tables and low-slung seating offer sweeping views across the valley, inviting visitors to partake in a casual tasting, then sit back, relax, and soak it all in.
Whilst Kerri Greens has made a name for itself as a fun and youthful upstart, the innovative wines are informed by time-tested tradition. The label is a joint venture for local winemaker Tom McCarthy, viticulturist Lucas Blanck, and their respective partners, Sarah Saxton and Alyce Blanck.
The four young vignerons share a slow and gentle approach to winemaking and rich family history. Tom is the eldest son of local producers Kathleen Quealy and Kevin McCarthy of Quealy Wines, whilst Lucas' father Frederic Blanck is the winemaker at the esteemed Domaine Paul Blanck, Alsace.
Harnessing a deep connection to their craft, the team produce playful and vibrant wines using sustainable and organic practices. Their philosophy is simple: minimal intervention, maximum care.
"The way we make wines is all about reflecting the site and trying to do as little as possible once the grapes have been picked. We try to maintain whatever the vineyard is producing; part of that is letting the vines and the soil talk", explains Sarah.
The wines are unfiltered, unfined, and wild-fermented with minimal additions. The results speak for themselves, producing natural variations and modern expressions that reflect the slow and considered methods. "The wines take their time," says Sarah with a smile, "You can't always plan around their release".
Since launching in 2013, the operation has grown to include three vineyards spanning Red Hill and Balnarring: The Duke(home to the Cellar Door), Silverwood, and the heritage Hickson site planted in 1982. Whilst the Peninsula is a boutique region, there's a huge variation in the wines produced, and every Kerri Greens bottle tells a story of soil and site.
As the small-scale winery continues to build momentum, it is receiving recognition on the global stage. In 2021, they were named Australia's Best Small Cellar Door by Gourmet Traveller, and in 2022, they are shortlisted for Best New Winery of the Year in the Halliday Wine Companion Awards.
In the coming months, the team at Kerri Greens will be hosting a number of events, including an Artist in Residence program and workshops in The Barrel Room. Open from Friday to Sunday, you can pack a picnic and spend the afternoon tasting the sensitively farmed and bottled wines.
Kerri Greens cellar door is open on Fridays from 12pm - 5pm, Saturdays from 11am - 5pm and Sundays from 12pm - 5pm for bookings and walk-ins. You can visit their website to make a booking or learn more about upcoming releases, events and collaborations.