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This small-scale boutique winery has a novel way of serving wine tastings
Any winery that greets you with two friendly dogs is a winery we can get around. Curlewis Winery is home to the oldest pinot noir vines on the peninsula, dating back to the early 1980s. If you’re expecting a large-scale operation where tour companies drop off buses of tourists, then prepare to be pleasantly surprised. The Curlewis Winery team is small, and their cellar door is only open on weekends. But what a cellar door it is.
Named “Appellation”, the Curlewis Winery cellar door is far too easy to get comfortable in. Outside it looks like a barn; inside it looks like a hunter’s cabin got the Queer Eye treatment. Warm timber furnishings, fur rugs and a fireplace make for a very cosy wine-tasting experience, and you can even choose the tunes from the stack of LPs. It’s such a small operation that more likely than not you’ll be served your tastings by Curlewis owner-operators, Stefano and Leesa, who also own the aforementioned greeting dogs Pablo and Basil (they will happily accept pats).
Stefano and Leesa bought Curlewis Winery in 2011 and have continued to grow the winery. They’re not scared of doing things a little differently: their wine tastings aren’t served in glasses but in test tubes, which (while a little unorthodox) makes it simple to compare and contrast each wine.
The vines at Curlewis are hand-pruned and picked, and their winemaking process leans on old-world techniques like basket pressing. Fermentation happens naturally through the wild yeasts throughout the vineyards. The result is some damn fine Burgundy-style pinot noir. Peckish? The Curlewis crew can hook you up with a platter or two to tide you over, with Stefano even smoking his own smallgoods on site.