Bright Future For Feathertop


I dropped in on old Roseworthy mate Kel Boynton and his architect wife Janelle (pictured above) while driving around north-east Victoria recently, and was gob-smacked at the progress they’d made at Feathertop Wines, formerly Boynton’s of Bright.

In recent years they’ve taken the restaurant up a couple of notches, and added deluxe B&B accommodation, offices, an underground barrel hall, and a home for themselves perched above the vineyard on the steep hill with a stunning view across the Ovens Valley towards Mt Buffalo. And their function centre is in big demand for weddings.

When I visited, the soon-to-be-underground barrel hall had been completed but the earth was yet to be pushed back on top of it. They’ll be able to use this space for big dinners, seating more than 100 people at one very long table.

The winery has embraced alternative energy in a big way and has 250 solar panels on its various roofs. The gardens are looking better than ever, complete with stone walls built by Kel himself, who is an accomplished stone-mason. The Feathertop wines (tastings) are also better than ever – especially the whites. It’s a cool climate and arguably better suited to white wines – with riesling, savagnin, pinot gris and vermentino of special interest. That said, I’ve seen some excellent reds over the years, under the Alluvium label. Kel holds out big hopes for his new plantings of nebbiolo and new clones of pinot noir. Helping lift the wines in recent years has been former Seppelt Great Western winemaker Jo Marsh. Boyton’s Feathertop is an exemplary small winery, where the Boyntons have, through hard yakka and enterprising spirit, created their own unique place in the world of wine and food.

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