Many great wine families’ heritage is undoubtedly an integral part of their success. But to be truly successful in the 21st century that tradition must be combined with a commitment to innovation. For 127 years, Brown Brothers have successfully blended the two.
The Milawa vineyard and orchard were first established in 1860. In 1880 John Francis Brown planted 10 acres of Riesling, Muscat & Shiraz at Milawa with the first wine produced in 1889. Since that time the succeeding generations have continued in the family business despite flood, phylloxera, plagues of grasshoppers, drought, hail storms and even a mini cyclone.
In the early 1930’s newly arrived Italian tobacco growers were an eager market for the wines. Eventually this influx of Italian migrants became wine-makers, too.
The King Valley’s terroir makes it the Aussie home of Italian varietals.
An experimental research winery, the Kindergarten was established in the centenary year. Wines of exceptional quality are produced in smaller lots exclusively for the Cellar Door. These wines aren’t available at your local. They are experimental batches, aged wines or new varietals like Tarrango.
The cellar door experience is unlike any other in Australia with not only the largest range of varieties but genuine enthusiasm from the staff to make your Brown Brothers day memorable. Although, Brown Brothers grow in many other areas of Victoria and Tasmania, Milawa is home.
Brown Brothers is Australia’s most popular cellar door.
Our tasting was led by the smiling, knowledgeable and oh so generous Ernie Menichelli. A Brown Brothers veteran of 29 years, there’s not really anything he doesn’t know about the region, the winery, Brown Brother’s history and the delectable wines. There are a staggering (no pun intended) 40 plus wines available for tasting at Brown Brothers.
He took us through many of the best from a delicious 2014 Limited release Prosecco to the last of the outstanding 2010 Late Harvested Orange Muscat Flora. We tasted the Pinot Grigio and Pino Gris side by side to understand what makes these similar grapes so different. We sampled the delightful 2014 Gamay as well as the limited release Durif. Ernie’s current favourite? The SMC – a 2008 Shiraz, Mondeuse and Cabernet blend released as part of Brown Brothers 125th anniversary celebrations.
The sprawling Milawa complex includes not only the tasting room and historic buildings but also the multi-award-winning Patricia’s Table restaurant and The Wine Bar for cheese boards, wine flights and simpler fare. It makes for a joyous day – tasting and feasting.
Brown Brothers Tasmanian vineyards – Tamar Ridge and Devil’s Corner are more recent additions to the family producing cooler climate wines such as Pinot Noir, sparkling blends of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Chardonnay.
As one of the twelve Australian First Families of Wine, Brown Brothers are true Aussie pioneers. They are custodians of their lands, mindful not only of their reputation but also of their responsibility to actively care for the environment. Tasting at Brown Brothers is an opportunity to experience generous hospitality and some incredibly special wine.
Disclaimer: TML were guests of Brown Brothers