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Saturday 9 July 2022

Hunter cellar door pays tribute to past masters

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be given a sneak peek at the revamped cellar door facilities at re-born Hunter Valley winery Mount Pleasant.

The winery this week re-opened its renovated and re-imagined cellar door and vineyard estate with a renewed focus on the legacy of winemaking legend Maurice O’Shea.

Mount Pleasant will offer wine tasting experiences which are enhanced by food offerings.

Reoriented to maximise vineyard views to the north, the new cellar door offers an expanded tasting area, a private tasting room, a separate members’ lounge in the adjacent barn and a bottle shop described as “a Disneyland for wine lovers”.

The bottle shop houses some of Mount Pleasant’s oldest and most significant wines, where aficionados can purchase rare museum bottles, including the last vintage made by Maurice O’Shea in 1956.

The property was acquired by Medich Family Office in 2021 - and they have made major investments.

Designed by award-winning architects and interior designers, Luchetti Krelle, and set within the original homestead buildings, the space boasts a significant art collection, including works by Bill Henson, Tracey Moffatt and Garry Shead.

The wine experiences have been curated by chief winemaker Adrian Sparks (above), along with head chef Kyle Whitbourne who is working in collaboration with leading chef Justin North from Concept Hospitality.

There will be a focus on locally sourced produce (well, that which has not been washed away) with a collection of smaller dishes designed to share.

Sparks, one of only five winemakers in Mount Pleasant’s history, says: “Maurice O’Shea and Phil Ryan were winemakers who changed the dynamic of the Hunter Valley. To be given an opportunity to follow in their footsteps, to walk those same vineyards, and to have a hand in designing new wine experiences and debut exciting ventures like the cellar door is thrilling.”

Visitors can now choose from one of five themed tastings, including the Mount Pleasant Experience, which celebrates the history, evolution and diversity of Mount Pleasant’s unique vineyard sites; the Maurice O’Shea Flight, highlighting four of the best vintages of Mount Pleasant’s flagship shiraz; and the Lovedale Semillon Flight.

Mount Pleasant will host a launch event for the new cellar door on Saturday July 30 from noon-4pm. Open to the public, tickets cost $300 and will include canapes on arrival, a four-course menu with paired wines, live entertainment, and a winery tour. The tasting facilities will be open Thursday-Monday 10am-5pm.

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