Cellardoorscore.com was recently invited to visit the new cellar door at Scotchmans Hill and what an amazing transformation it was! The new facilities really take advantage of the amazing views of Port Phillip Bay and the Melbourne city skyline and the Cape Cod style cottage has been remodelled to provide an open and inviting cellar door experience, with a central fireplace and couches for those chilly winter days and a large outdoor seating area for those warmer summer days. The wine tasting list is extensive, including a number of “cellar door only” wines and the new food offering provides a great mix of light dishes (the pork buns were delicious!). We understand there are also further plans to expand the dining offering in the future. As a result of this transformation, we have updated our review of the Scotchmans Hill experience, with an increase in score from 14.5 to 18 and “2 Doors” being awarded. Congratulations Scotchmans Hill and thank you for inviting us to experience your new, very well thought out, cellar door offering.(Photo courtesy of Scotchmans Hill)
The Wairarapa wine region, in the south of New Zealand's North Island, may be a relatively small region producing only around 1% of New Zealand's wine, but packs a big punch in terms of wine and food offerings. Reviews of cellardoorscore.com ‘s latest trip to the region are now up on the website, with special congratulations going to Tirohana Estate and Margrain Vineyard who both received a "1 door" award and Cambridge Road and Martinborough Vineyard who both received our “hidden gem” award. The region offers a great range of styles and varieties and with it’s long growing season, low rainfall, high sunshine hours and cool nights, offers great conditions for the beautiful Pinot Noir that is a focus of many in the area. The cellar doors in the region tend to be smaller boutique operations which make for some great personal experiences whereby you will often be dealing directly with the owners and/or winemakers who will be more than happy to take you through their range of wines. There are also has some fantastic dining options in the area, including at a number of the cellar doors, and the compact nature of the region makes it perfect for wine and food lovers to explore on foot or by bike. Definitely one to add to the list next time you are on New Zealand’s beautiful North Island!
Hawke's Bay on New Zealand's North Island is home to not only some our favourite cellar doors, but some of our favourite New Zealand wines and dining spots.
Reviews of cellardoorscore.com’s latest trip to the region are now up on the website, with special congratulations going to Craggy Range and Elephant Hill who's "2 door" awards and Black Barn Vineyards "1 door" award were all reaffirmed and Askerne who received a "1 door" award. With it’s long wine producing history, Bordeaux-like climate and varying terroir, the region is producing some sensational red wines including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah as well as a wide variety of beautiful white wines including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, to name just a few. This, coupled with some amazing cellar door experiences, spectacular mountain and beach scenery and excellent range of dining options makes this region an absolute must visit for wine and food lovers.
Already one of cellardoorscore.com's favourite New Zealand wineries, Craggy Range has recently refurbished their cellar door and we were lucky enough to check it out on our recent trip to Hawkes Bay. . Now boasting a range of tasting options, including a tasting of two vintages of their 3 Prestige Collection wines, each of which we thought were stunning representations of wines from the region, the new cellar door definitely offers a unique and outstanding experience. . With the spectacular backdrop of the Te Mata Peak, which you can take in while enjoying some amazing fresh, seasonal produce at their Terroir Restaurant, the beautiful architecturally designed buildings, one of which houses a striking underground barrel room and the endless views of vineyards and mountains, this is definitely a must visit when in the area. A huge thank you to Matt for hosting us and taking us through their fabulous range of wines and showing us around this amazing family run operation 😀🍷 #cellardoorscore #craggyrange
From some of the largest underground cellars in the world, to amazing boutique family operations, Penedes, the home of Cava, is a fascinating region to visit. Reviews of our recent trip are now available on our Penedes page, with congratulations to Codorniu who received a “2 door” award and Cava Guilera who received our hidden gem award. With thousands of years of winemaking history in the region and a great variety of wines due its many microclimates, Penedes is a must stop off for wine lovers, particularly those that like to indulge in a little Sparkling! #cellardoorscore @codorniuglobal @cavaguilera
Jerez, the home of Sherry, is a beautiful Spanish city with numerous Bodegas within a short stroll of town, each having something a little different to offer and we really enjoyed the diversity of experiences and amazing products of this region.
Reviews of our recent trip are now available at cellardoorscore.com, with congratulations to Bodegas Fundador who received a “1 door” award and Bodegas Tradicion who received our hidden gem award 👏👏
It's fair to say we hadn’t had much experience with Sherry before visiting here, other than the odd Pedro Ximinez 😉, but we certainly found this an extremely informative and interesting region to visit. It was also fantastic to hear about not only the amazing history, but how many of the Bodegas are looking to take Sherry forward into the future, and if some of the Sherry cocktails we sampled are any indication, we’re certainly looking forward to seeing what comes next! 😀🍷🍹#cellardoorscore @bodegasfundador @bodegastradicion
Reviews from cellardoorscore.com recent visit to Porto are now available on the website here. Porto, home to the majority of port cellaring, is the second largest city in Portugal and is a beautiful city with some fabulous architecture, amazing dining options and, of course, numerous fantastic Port Lodges. Most of the Port Lodges are in the area of Villa Nova Gaia, just across the river from the city and are mostly conveniently located within a short walking distance of each other, making for a very easy visit. Offering a great range of tasting and tour options, each Port House has something unique to offer and teach, which is fantastic for those wanting to either taste a wide variety of Ports or take a comprehensive look at Port production. You can even step back in time and take a ride on a Rabelo boat, the main means of transferring port along the Douro river until the mid 1960’s! Congratulations to Graham's, who received our “1 Door” award and Ramos Pinto and Cockburn's who each received a “Hidden Gem” award.
Cellardoorscore.com is still playing catch up from our recent European wine tour, however reviews of wineries visited in Portugal’s stunning Douro Valley are now up on our Douro Valley page. Congratulations to Quinta do Seixo, Quinta do Bomfim, Quinta Nova and Quinta do Tedo who each received our 1 Door Award and Casa de Santo Antonio Britiande and Vasques de Carvalho who both received our Hidden Gem Award. The Douro, with it’s amazing blend of both traditional and cutting edge approaches to wine production and winery tourism, is definitely one of our new favourite wine regions to visit and if you haven’t had the opportunity to get there yet, it’s definitely one to add to your list of New Year’s resolutions! Hope everyone has a safe and very Happy New Year.
While cellardoorscore.com only managed a short stop off this time, reviews of wineries visited in Ribeira Sacra and Ribeiro are now available on our Ribeira Sacra and Ribeiro page and we can safely say that Ribeira Sacra is definitely one of the most visually spectacular wine regions we have visited to date. The two regions, while geographically quite close, are also a great contrast with Ribeira Sacra specializing in the production of dry red wines primarily from the Mencia grape, whereas Ribeiro is mostly known for its white wines, the principal grape varieties being Treixadura, Torrontes, Godello, Loureiro and Albarino, perfect for pairing with the amazing seafood from the Galician region! Some fantastic wines and wineries here, a testament to those amazingly hard working men and women that navigate the up to 90 degree angle terraced vineyards that were established during the Roman times and continue to be used, without machines, today!
Cellardoorscore.com loves an amazing rags to riches wine story, and Jean Leon is definitely that! From stowing away on a ship as a young man that, unbeknownst to him, was bound for the US (not his intended destination), to becoming one of Frank Sinatra’s most trusted assistants, to opening one of the most popular restaurants in Hollywood, to setting up a Spanish winery in Penedes, the wines from which were chosen as the wines for Ronald Reagan’s official inaugural dinner at the White House, this is one amazing wine journey! A visit to this winery takes you through this unbelievable history, including how Jean replaced all of the local varietals with plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay from renowned French wineries, an unprecedented decision that brought about the first Cabernet Sauvignons in Spain. Fantastic wines and an extremely interesting and entertaining tour! 😀🍷 #cellardoorscore @jeanleon1963 #Spain #penedes