SIX YEARS IN THE MAKING. The story of our shearing shed conversion.

Shearing Shed Cellar Door Conversion


2016 We met our Architect via DM’s

In the modern world, you meet over social media and that is how the project started to come to life. Matt Goodman, a Melbourne Architect from MGAO messaged us with a concept drawing for our outdoor fireplace we have on our property. I thought it was a really thoughtful gesture and got him out here to see if something could be done with the shearing shed.

We knew it was the best spot for a cellar door; the views and proximity to all the practicalities like power and water etc.. We didn’t want to waste the beautiful building that was already there, so together with Matt we looked past the sheep droppings and the questionable structure and dreamt of what it could be. The renders came back and what a vision, what a beautiful cellar door this could become.

For the next four years, we changed plans and ideas a few times, but the core concept remained, transforming the shearing shed into a modern wine tasting room. We knew we needed to make it happen.

2018 – Getting the structure right

The biggest hurdle that we came across is how we could keep the exisiting building without tearing the entire thing down. It was the team at Simon Anderson consultants who made this happen. A clever concept to provide minor alterations to the existing trussed structure, instead of creating an entirely new one.
Ok. So we finally knew this project was doable… now the hard part, funding.

Early 2019 – Money, Money, Money

The plans were drawn, the structure was doable but now we needed to fund the project. We discovered a wine growth fund via Regional Development Victoria and decided to apply. Our application was a success and the funding was officially underway. However we still needed to privately fund the remaining 80% of the project, our thinking caps were on, an idea came to us.

Late 2019 – 500 hands of support

Scott and I had already looked into the concept of ‘crowdfunding’ and we knew it was a way to both raise private funding and to get community involved in the project. We didn’t want the stress of an official crowdfunding platform, where if you didn’t make your $ targets, the entire project didn’t pay. Instead, we decided to host a crowdfunding-like campaign on our own website. Purchase a case of wine and receive your name on the cellar door. We had a video created and sent it out into the world. What a response! 500 cases were sold and the cash helped the project continue

2020 Then came a pandemic

Who would of thought that a virus would come and change our world’s forever? For any small business owner, the uncertainty of a worldwide pandemic was a stressful time. We were grateful that our core business of wholesaling wine took off and the increase in sales assisted us to financially continue the build. We were one of the lucky ones, we were very grateful that the cards fell our way.

2021 The Build

In between lockdowns, we met with builders and when Brad came to check out the space, we knew he was the right fit. Trak constructions were up for the challenge and brough with them creative ideas to keep the charm of the exisiting building, while ensuring the practicalities were ticked off.

After a year of submissions, were finally had the green light to start and in May 2021, Trak constructions started the build.

2021 – Timber shortages, isolations and lockdowns

The projected open date on November 2021 didn’t quite happen but with timber shortages, staffing shortages and continual lockdowns, we thought it was a miracle we were nearly finished at the end of 2021.

Liz, our BDM was incredible throughout the year, managing the build and choosing the finishes. It was a project that kept many of us interested and looking forward throughout the gruelling lockdowns Victoria endured.

2022 – We Opened!

In January we were finally able to celebrate with our founding members with a celebratory weekend. It was a long time coming. The weekend had a great vibe and it was a beautiful moment to see everyone enjoying the space we worked really hard to create.

In February 2022, we opened to the public and the next chapter in Austin’s 40 year history is just beginning.

Visit Us

Our cellar door is now open to the public and we’d love to welcome you here. Our full range of Austin’s and 6ft6 wines are on tasting from Thursday-Monday from 11am-5pm, we also have a deli menu for you to enjoy with your wine. On the weekends, we have various fabulous caterers ‘popping up’ at our kitchen. At the moment, Workers BBQ are with us on Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-3pm. You can find out more and make a booking here

We can’t wait to welcome you! Belle & Scott

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