Restdown Wines

New South Wales | Big Rivers Zone

Our Review

Don and Jo Hearn met in London in 1992, and after several years travelling around the world, they returned to Australia with nothing but a backpack full of dirty clothes and two Turkish rugs. They arrived at the 445ha Hearn family farming property, decided to build a house and set up their own farming enterprise. Don had studied criminology and legal psychology at university, so the plan had limited appeal to the family members, but they (Don and Jo) were given an 8h block to establish their proposed vineyard and winery. Over the ensuing years they planted 3ha each of semillon and merlot, plus shiraz, sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay. The plan was to sell the grapes, but the idea of making wine took hold. Jo undertook a 1-year BRIT course in winemaking, and after an initial vintage in the carport, she and Don designed a very small, underground winemaking facility and cellar door. Jo began with small amounts for consumption by family and friends, and as she gained experience, the capacity of the winery increased to 1.5-tonne lots, and by '13 Jo was processing 5 tonnes of grapes, selling the remaining 40 tonnes. The plan is to travel to France for a vintage, and also to move towards organic certification of the vineyard. -JAMES HALLIDAY


Winemaker Jo Hearn
Region Big Rivers Zone
Address 44 Jungle Lane, Caldwell via Barham, NSW 2732
Established 2002
Dozens 550
Vineyards (area) 5 ha
Opening Hours By appt
Telephone (03) 5489 7221