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Oakdene News & Events


Team Oakdene
10 December 2014 | Team Oakdene

Christmas & New Year Trading Hours

Christmas Eve - Wednesday, 24th December

Cellar Door - Open
Cafe - Closed
Restaurant - Closed

Christmas Day - Thursday, 25th December

Cellar Door - Closed
Cafe - Closed
Restaurant - Closed

Boxing Day - Friday, 26th December

Cellar Door - Open
Cafe - Open
Restaurant - Open

New Years Eve - Wednesday, 31st December

Cellar Door - Open
Cafe - Closed
Restaurant - Closed

New Years Day - Thursday, 1st January

Cellar Door - Closed
Cafe - Closed
Restaurant - Closed


Time Posted: 10/12/2014 at 5:19 PM
Oakdene Wines
4 December 2014 | Oakdene Wines

Wine Time - Oakdene Blue Label Pinot Noir 2011 $23

Wine Review by Jon Helmer (Geelong + Surf Coast Living Magazine - Summer 2015)

Oakdene is a small boutique producer committed to quality and this has been reflected in the numerous awards and trophies they have won in the short time since establishing in 2001. 2011 was a challenging vintage as most growers new to the game had never experienced or seen conditions like it before. It's important to note tha the fruit for this wine was all sourced from the same vineyard as their successful 'Peta's' pinot noir block. The wine is light in colour with nice rose petal/floral/cherry complexities on the nose with a soft, more feminine-like mouth feel on the palate with light cherry flavours predominating. Think lunch, think quiche, think light, and easy drinking 'beaujolais-like' pinot noir! Check out also their amazing Shiraz, Chardonnay and Sparkling wines. 


Time Posted: 04/12/2014 at 11:02 AM
Oakdene Wines
1 December 2014 | Oakdene Wines

The Right White (Ruby Magazine - Summer 2015)

The sun is shining, warm winds are gently blowing and it's the time when we finally catch up with all those people we've been meaning to see all year. The entertaining season is upon us, and when it comes to serving up a white wine, we want it to be the right white.

In the same way that chardonnay was out-cooled by sauvignon blanc, now the prevailing sauv blancs are being out-trended in the it-wine stakes by pinot grigio, or is that pinot gris - well, either way, it's fast becoming the new it wine, or is that wines?

Even wine, it seems, can have an identity crisis these days.

When it comes to pinot gris and pinot grigio, it can be hard to tell what you are buying, which is why we gave Steve Paul, resident wine buff at Oakdene, a call to give us the inside line on the Pinot Gs.

You may have heard or been told that the only difference between the two is that gris is French and grigio is Italian; and that's sort of true, but really misses the story of the Pinot G wines.

What is the same about the gris and the grigio is the grape. The greyish-red grape is a mutation of the noble pinot noir grape (or pinot nero grape, as it is called in Italy), and both 'gris' and 'grigio' are translations of grey in reference to the colour. On another translation note, the name 'pinot' is a reference to pine, because pinot grapes grow in a tight cluster that vaguely resembles a pinecone.

Pinot grigio is a style of wine traditionally produced in northern Italy, around Mogliano and Alto Adige. An earlier harvest with higher acidity and lower alcohol, it tends towards crunchy fruit characters like Nashi pear flavours. The lower alcohol comes from the early harvest, as the grapes haven't developed the high sugar levels of later harvests. These wines are made to drink young and are a lovely light style for summer drinking.

Pinot gris is traditionally produced in northern France, around Alsace, close to the German border. The cooler region means grapes are picked later to allow them to ripen, making for a lower acidity, fuller bodied, rich white wines that tend to be higher in alcohol. Traditional pinot gris make good food wines, matching well with the German-influenced food of its native region like spicy sausages and sauerkraut. The higher alcohol content tends not to be as much of an issue in a culture where a small - and we do mean small - single glass of wine with dinner is the usual consumption limit.

"In Australia, we do either, or both," Steve said, adding that there has been a tendency in Australia to label the wine as gris or grigio based on  nationality preference - or just the sound of the name - rather than the style being produced, which has added to the general confusion when it comes to the Pinot Gs.

But the truth is, with our warm climate, Australian Pinot Gs tend to be true to neither of the gris or grigio styles, but will fall somewhere  across a very broad spectrum in between.

Here in Geelong, pinot gris (or grigio) is now the fourth most planted grape after pinot noir, chardonnay and shiraz.

"Local wine makers are investing in the variety because we have one of the most suited climates for planting it, which you can see from our success with pinot noir," Steve said. "Here at Oakdene we do both a grigio and a gris style of wine, with the grigio a lovely, crisp drinking style while the gris is a fuller style that is better with food. We have one vineyard of 5 acres of pinot gris and 80 per cent of all of our fruit goes to the fruit-driven style pinot grigio.

"But, like all wines, the best way to choose the right wine, or in this case the right white, is to try it and see what you like."


Time Posted: 01/12/2014 at 11:18 AM
Oakdene Restaurant
1 December 2014 | Oakdene Restaurant

Chef's Work Never Done (Geelong + Surf Coast Living Magazine - Summer 2015)

These days’ lots of us love to cook, but that doesn't mean we do it all day long. Chefs do, five to six days a week, sometimes up to 14 hours a day.

During that time, chefs aren't just cooking, but shopping, planning, managing, ordering, calculating, cleaning, sweating, running, repairing and, hardest of all, waiting. It's not quite blood, sweat and tears, but it is close.

Being a chef can also be rewarding, and, combined with a healthy dose of passion, it starts to look like a decent way to earn a living especially if you’re prepared to work 70 or 80 hours a week!  

Just don't expect any glamour in a schedule like this. After many years, bags appear under the eyes, you get hunched shoulders, dodgy knees, high blood pressure and your diet can be almost non-existent.

Marty Chichester, is one chef who has and lives that life. Marty, 46, has been on the cooking scene for nearly 30 years. But he really made a name for himself with the wildly popular Oakdene Vineyards Restaurant in Wallington.

It hasn’t come without sacrifice Marty explains! Two marriages and a number of relationships later he’s still funnily enough positively passionate about his profession.

Working alongside Owners Bernard & Elizabeth Hooley, HooleyOakdeneOakdene has been transformed into what Marty believes is the premier dining destination on the Bellarine Peninsula. With the food, art, sculptures and the amazing eclectic gardens Oakdene has become a true destination for all visitors to the Bellarine.

Oakdene opened with a bang in 2004, offering a contemporary market-based cuisine at a med-high price, following Marty’s philosophy that "technique-driven cooking made with simple ingredients gives as good a result as food made with luxury ingredients."

Ten years later, The Hooleys along with Marty are planning to open their second restaurant “Mr Grubb@Oakdene” which is aimed at a more casual market. “We will be offering pizza, fish & chips and lots of share plate options, so we hope the local crowd from Ocean Grove and the surrounding areas will come in force” says Marty.

The new restaurant will be located on the vineyard alongside the famous Upside-Down House; and with its modern and trendy food, will have tremendous draw – especially for foodies on a budget. MrGrubb@Oakdene is due to open in December so watch this space.   

Marty is constantly on the move. When he's not chopping something, he's planning menus, organizing staff schedules, taking reservations or teaching his latest kitchen hand how to clean a scallop.

If he over-orders, there's waste; if he under-orders, he'll be scrambling. And every one of those moves is based on years of experience. "In a small kitchen like this," he says, "everyone does everything. There are no set jobs. But if the plates go wrong, I have no one to blame but myself."

That pressure is ever-present in a chef's life. "I'd be lying to say I wasn't tired at the end of the week," he says. "And being in 'the Shit,' 'the juice,' or whatever you call it (playing catch-up), is never enjoyable. But I like the flow of the service, seeing the plates coming back empty, the smiles of the customers. If they're enjoying themselves, I've done something right."

Time Posted: 01/12/2014 at 10:56 AM
Oakdene Wines
28 November 2014 | Oakdene Wines

Fantastic Results at Concours des Vins de Victoria

Great result at the 2014 FACCI Concours des Vins de Victoria, with Oakdene winning two Gold Medals and a Bronze Medal.  

  • Gold Medal - 2013 Oakdene William Shiraz
  • Gold Medal - 2013 Oakdene Liz's Chardonnay
  • Bronze Medal - 2014 Oakdene Pinot Grigio

Wine manager Steven Paul says 'Hard work & dedication in the vineyard and the winemaking process are paying off, with consistent results being achieved at major wine shows around Australia, particularly with the William Shiraz'.

Time Posted: 28/11/2014 at 9:41 AM
Oakdene Wines
21 November 2014 | Oakdene Wines

2013 William Shiraz - More Gold Medals

The newly available 2013 Oakdene William Single Vineyard Bellarine Peninsula Shiraz has just added another three gold medals to its collection, scoring a gold medal at the Great Australian Shiraz Challenge 2014, the National Wine Show of Australia 2014 and at Concours des Vins de Victoria 2014.

The 2013 William Shiraz has already been awarded a Gold Medal at the Ballarat Wine Show 2014, as well as the Trophy for Best Regional Shiraz and a Trophy for the Best Regional Red Wine, following in the footsteps of its predecessor the 2012 William Shiraz.

$35.00 bottle/$420 case (Wine Club Members 10% Discount)
Purchase Now

Full-red purple. Highly perfumed red and dark plum notes and spicy bouquet, lifted by whole bunch characters. Medium to full bodied palate, with savoury red fruit characters, spice and delicate pepper notes. Firm but fine tannins and well integrated French oak. Balanced acidity, and a long savoury finish. 15% whole bunches, wild yeast and matured in new (30%) and seasoned French oak barriques for 16 months. 

Alc 13.9%
Vines planted 2001, Clones PT23 & Bests Great Western
Closure : Screwcap
Winemaker : Robin Brockett
Bottled : July 2014,
1000 dozen produced

Time Posted: 21/11/2014 at 4:39 PM
Oakdene Restaurant
3 October 2014 | Oakdene Restaurant

Melbourne Cup Day

Tuesday 4th November
$60 per person (beverages at bar prices)

Celebrate Melbourne Cup Day in style with fabulous food, fashion and fillies in the Oakdene Gardens. Enjoy the carnival atmosphere of Race Day in the restaurant and garden marquee and watch the excitement unfold at Flemington. Dress in your Race Day finest to be in the running to win Best Dressed on the day. 

There will be a selection of wandering decadent canapes served throughout the day to tantalise the taste buds including all the fantastic signature Melbourne Cup dishes from the chefs table prepared by our award winning kitchen brigade.

To book, please call 03 5255 1255


Time Posted: 03/10/2014 at 2:52 PM
Oakdene Wines
3 October 2014 | Oakdene Wines

Toast to the Coast

Melbourne Cup Weekend 1st & 2nd November

Celebrate the 13th annual Toast to the Coast Festival at Oakdene over the Melbourne Cup Weekend.  Showcasing Geelong’s premium cool climate wines and regional produce, Toast to the Coast is a sensational weekend of wine, food and fun.

A $40 Tasting Pass, includes a commemorative Geelong Wine tasting glass, and is your passport to enjoy wine tastings from all participating wineries across the entire weekend. Purchase Tasting Pass

Visit the Oakdene ‘Upside-Down House’ Cellar Door for informative tastings of our award winning wines, including new releases.  Established in 2001, Oakdene specialises in the varieties best suited to the region: chardonnay, pinot noir, shiraz, pinot gris and sauvignon blanc, and the range includes both still and sparkling wines.  The wines are elegant and complex and reflect the true varietal character of the region.

Enjoy a selection of gourmet food matched with a glass of Oakdene wine, while relaxing in the Oakdene Garden Café from 11am to 4pm, or book into our award winning restaurant for our Toast special - 2 courses plus a glass of wine for just $45pp.

Live Music - The Sweethearts
The Sweethearts, a 25+ piece girl soul gang (the only school based band in the world playing exclusively in professional settings) will be performing during Toast to the Coast. The Sweethearts are the present and future of soul music.  Playing nu-soul, a fusion of styles based around classic soul (including a mixture or originals and re worked classic sounds), Sweethearts is the most exciting band of young female musicians in the world. Discover the Sweethearts

Time Posted: 03/10/2014 at 2:01 PM
Oakdene Wines
16 September 2014 | Oakdene Wines

2013 Oakdene William Shiraz Wins 2 Trophies at Ballarat Wine Show

The Oakdene William Shiraz has triumphed again over the weekend, winning two trophies at the 2014 Ballarat Wine Show.  The 2013 Oakdene William Shiraz was awarded Top Gold in its class, Trophy for Best Regional Shiraz and Trophy for Best Regional Red Wine.

The Ballarat Wine Show was the first wine show the 2013 William shiraz has been entered into, and we can't wait to see how it fares at future wine shows. 

Accepting entries from wines made from grapes grown in the Ballarat, Geelong, Henty, Grampians, Pyrenees, Bendigo and Sunbury regions, the Ballarat wine show offered a great opportunity to benchmark wines with some of Victoria’s best.

Last year, the previous vintage, the 2012 Oakdene William Shiraz, also won these two trophies, as well as receiving gold medals at the 2014 Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show and the Geelong Wine Show.  With the 2012 William Shiraz recently receiving an impressive 96 point rating in the latest edition (2015) of the Australian Wine Companion, James Hallidays’ definitive guide to Australian Wine, the William Shiraz has arguably become one of the benchmark wines of the Geelong and Bellarine Peninsula region.

Both the 2013 and 2012 growing season produced some fantastic fruit across the board at Oakdene, with the reds benefiting most from a long moderate growing season. The Oakdene Shiraz is sourced from two individual blocks planted to clones PT23 and Best's (Great Western) in 2011 and 2002.

All fruit is hand harvested, and fermented using wild yeast with the addition of 15% whole bunches to enhance perfume and structure, and then matured for 16 months in new and seasoned French oak barriques.

The Oakdene team credit the success to a fantastic site for growing high quality fruit, and dedication to excellence in the vineyard. The vineyard team led by Caroline Suthers, manage an immaculate vineyard ensuring top quality fruit is harvested each year and delivered to the winery. Thanks should also go to Robin Brockett and Marcus Holt for their outstanding wine making skills.


Time Posted: 16/09/2014 at 3:38 PM
Oakdene Wines
12 September 2014 | Oakdene Wines

The Sparkling Season (Ruby Magazine - Spring 2014)

Every year, the arrival of racing and event season means sparkling wines are centre stage.  But apart from the bubbles, do you really know what goes into that delicious glass of joyous fizz?

Steven Paul from Oakdene says that when we're talking sparklings, it's not all about bubbles.

In Australia, we produce and drink sparkling pinot, sparkling chardonnay, or sparkling pinot chardonnay.  Ever wondered about the pinot element in those light-filled golden wines? If you're a novice quaffer - and there are plenty of us - here's why.  All grape juice is clear.  The colour comes from the press and how much of the skin is allowed to pigment the juice.  In fact, well over half of the Champagne grapes grown in Champagne are black grapes.

Sparkling wine can be made in several ways and it is the method that changes the finished product.  For all sparklings, the base wine is made of just ripe grapes with low levels of sugar and high acidity.

The quickest and therefore cheapest method is carbonating.  This is the SodaStream of the wine world - literally injecting CO2 into the base wine.  This simple and aggressive method of producing fizz results in large bubbles that dissipate quickly.

Our better quality sparklings take you into the more traditional production methods.  The Charmat Method, also known as the Italian Method (Metodo Italiano) is a traditional method producing lightly sparkling wines.

The Charmat Method involves a second fermentation of the base wine in a pressurised tank, which is where the bubbles are made.  The wine is then clarified, additional sugar may be added if a sweeter wine is desired, then aged.  Wines produced by this method have not spent much time on yeast, and will generally be fresh, fruit driven styles with reasonable persistent bubbles.

The Champagnes produced in France are made under the Classic Method or Methode Champenoise.  These wines are characterised by yeast-derived characters and very fine, persistent bubbles.

The most complex method of producing sparkling wine, the Classic Method sees the base wine decanted into bottles for the second fermentation and aged 'on lees', meaning on yeast.  The curiously termed 'riddling' is the next step, whereby the bottles are rotated on an angle toward the neck of the bottle.  The bubbles are made by the yeast feeding on the sugars, producing carbon dioxide.

During disgorgement, the yeast that has gathered in the neck of the bottle is removed, usually by freezing it into a block using liquid nitrogen, and removed.  The wine may or may not then be dosed with extra sugar for sweetness, bottled, corked and aged.  When ready, sparklings made by the classic method will have those incredibly fine bubbles that sing on your tongue and last throughout the glass (or the bottle!).

What is the difference between vintage and non-vintage?  Vintage means the wine has been produced using grapes from a single year, while non-vintage, often shown as NV on the bottle, will be produced using wine from different years.  These complex and savoury sparklings shine with food.

And there you have it, our insider's guide to sparkling wine, so when the conversation at this season's events turn to wine, you can shine.

Steve's suggestion: When buying a quality local sparkling, drink it now while it's fresh and lively.  All the ageing and hard work is done in the production for you to enjoy the wine when you buy it. 

Time Posted: 12/09/2014 at 3:15 PM