During 2008, Nillumbik Shire Council approved a planning permit to allow Swipers Gully Wines to make their wine on site. New wine making equipment, a new bag press, filtering equipment, stainless steel vats and de-stemmer, were installed at Swipers Gully at the end of 2008. This means that, from vine to bottle, all of our vintages are exclusively handled at Swipers Gully Vineyard under the professional eye of winemaker, Stephen Bennett.
The 2009 vintage has been pressed and will include a champagne-style sparkling white (pinot/chardonnay), a Sparkling Merlot, a Reserve Shiraz and a Verduzzo. Swipers Gully processes about 10 tonnes of grapes per year from six grape varieties grown on five acres – quality rather than quantity the criterion.
One of the greatest successes has been the 2005 Sparkling Merlot made for Swipers by Phil Kelly of Kellybrook Winery. The wine, two years in the making and released in 2007, was of an exceptionally high standard with chocolate and dark berry overtones, soft tannins and just the right amount of sweetness. It is possible that one day, Swipers Gully may press grapes produced by its neighbours, providing a valuable service to the community and another boost to its growing reputation as a first class producer of wine.