Here’s what’s included:
take your love of wine to the next level
Imagine sharing a bottle or two of your very own wine around the family Christmas table or at the next dinner with friends. Rent a Vine with us at Austin’s for this truly unique, fully immersive experience. This 12 month membership will teach you how to make wine; from picking and crushing, pruning and tending to blending and branding.
A truly bucket list experience at your own back door!
It also makes an ideal gift for yourself, the wine lover in your life, or for that person who has everything.
Your own vine, Exclusive access and custom wine
This exclusive, hands-on winemaking experience gives you VIP, behind-the-scenes access to our winery and winemaking team.
Over twelve months you’ll enjoy a series of five winemaking events where you tend to your row of vines and make wine with one of Australia’s top rated wineries.
The 2020 Rent a Vine Program is SOLD OUT
Join the waiting list for 2022
HANDS ON WORKSHOPS
Get your hands dirty and discover the ins and outs of a working winery, from vineyard to glass.
Pinot Noir workshops will be held on Saturdays and Chardonnay on Sundays.
Workshop 1 in March: Picking and Crushing
- Chardonnay – February 27th
- Pinot Noir – March 13th
Discover the vineyard and name your own row of vines. Craig, our vineyard manager will teach you the ins and outs of picking fruit and you will be handed your personal pair of secateurs to begin the task. Once the fruit is picked, head to the winery where you will discover the process from pressing to barrel. Taste the fresh pressings and enjoy a wine tasting over lunch.
Fitness required: To pick the vines some bending and lifting is required. This can be modified with staff to assist.
Timing: 1.5-2 hours in the vineyard, 1.5 hours in the winery, followed by lunch.
Workshop 2 in May: Clone discovery and tasting
- Pinot Noir – May 15th
- Chardonnay – May 16th
Clones, baume, oak and blending are all terms you may or may not be familiar with. In this interactive tasting session, you will learn about wine in an approachable manner and learn some wine terminology while you are at it!
You will learn what the different influences are in wine making and your preferred wine style.
Fitness Required: Any fitness level
Timing: .5 hours to visit your vine, 1.5 hours wine discovery followed by lunch
Workshop 3 in July: Vineyard pruning
- Pinot Noir – July 17th
- Chardonnay – July 18th
In this workshop you will learn how to prune your vines and the different methods which this can be done. This integral part of the viticulture process affects the amount and quality of fruit that will be produced in harvest.
Bring your coat and warm up afterwards tasting your wine straight from barrel.
Fitness Required: Pruning requires bending and some walking. Can be adjusted with assistance from staff.
Timing: 1.5-2 hours in the vineyard, .5 hours in winery, followed by lunch
Workshop 4 in September: Barrel Tasting and Blending
- Pinot Noir – September 11th
- Chardonnay – September 12th
Blending plays an absolutely vital role in winemaking, it improves the wine and adds complexity, balance or age-ability.
Blends can be made up wine from different barrels, different batches (alternate harvest times), different clones, different varieties (eg. sometimes white is used to soften a red) and different vintages.
In this workshop you will learn how to blend wine and choose your preference for your wine allocation.
Fitness Required: Any fitness level is suitable
Timing: 2 hours blending followed by lunch
Workshop 5 in December: Celebration Party
- December 4
Drinking the wine is arguably the best part, and what a way to celebrate the year! All Rent a Vine members are invited to join us at the cellar door for a celebration party in the evening.. Austin’s is known for its events and this one will be the biggest [and best] on the annual calendar.
Come and hand-label your wines with your custom labels and then toast a wine or two at our converted shearing shed cellar door.
Music, food and a great night of celebrations.
More information about the workshops
- Due to weather conditions and other factors outside of our control these workshop dates may change but you will be advised well in advance.
- Little to no fitness is required as you can learn what you like and only do as much physical labour as desired.
- As areas are wheelchair accessible.
- Children are not allowed at the workshops, only participants above 18 years of age.
- Transport is offered from Geelong station for workshops 1 and 5, for workshop 2-4 we encourage participants to car pool or arrange their own transportation.
- All workshops are fully catered and no further purchases are required.
- If you are unable to make a workshop you can request to either attend another in it’s place ie: chardonnay if you are doing pinot noir or you can send someone in your place.
INSIDERS GUIDE TO RENT A VINE
Read the behind-the-scenes guide from Eliesha Rae, our Rent a Vine insider. Eli has written a blog for each workshop showing the ins and outs of winemaking and her experience in 2020.
Eli is a trivia nerd, wine tragic and lover of BBQ shapes . Eli’s participation in the first ever Austin’s Rent a Vine program doesn’t come as even a little bit of a surprise to anyone who knows her, she loves a tipple and is not one to do anything by halves.READ THEM HERE
FIRST OF A KIND CONCEPT
This inaugural rent-a-vine concept is the first of its kind in the region and an opportunity for us to share our passion for growing fruit, making wine and sharing a good conversation with you.
This unmissable year-long experience has a limited number of memberships available.
You’ll also get:
• 10% off Austin’s wines & 15% off 6Ft6 wines (full priced wines only)
• First access to new vintage and museum releases
• First access to year-round events
FROM OUR CURRENT 2020 RENT A VINE MEMBERS
There’s something for everyone
What a beacon of light Rent a Vine has been during this trashfire of a year. The team at Austin’s has gone over and above to make sure our experience met (and exceeded!) expectations, including lockdown Zoom catchups, video tutorials, BONUS cheese and plenty o’wine. There’s been something in it for everyone – from experienced wine connoisseurs to casual drinkers and everyone in between. Peeking behind the winemaking curtain has given me a whole new appreciation for my favourite beverage (and that appreciation was not inconsiderable to begin with!). A+++ 100% would recommend.
Enjoyed the virtual wine nights
The at home barrel tasting and cheese pairing with a preview of the new releases was a highlight and something to look forward to during lockdown. Really enjoyed our virtual wine nights!
Recommend for anyone chasing a unique experience
Learning the process of making wine has only made me appreciate that glass of Pinot Noir even more. The team at Austin’s have provided the perfect balance of fun and education with their Rent a Vine program. Highly recommend for anyone chasing a unique experience.
Thanks again for putting together this amazing wine education program! The Covid world has been a tricky one, and you handled it smoothly whilst keeping all participants included, informed and feeling loved! Can’t wait to all be back together this weekend!
We can’t wait to meet you in 2021
“We’re excited to expand the program to offer Chardonnay and to provide a virtual experience, as it enables us to reach wine lovers Australia wide in 2021.
This year, we’ve found that the program has given participants a greater understanding of the complexities of the winemaking process, rather than just the romanticism of it. Making a quality wine takes time, patience, technique and getting your hands a little dirty.
We are so proud to offer this program in 2021 and we personally enjoy attending the workshops and getting to know everyone throughout the year.”
Scott & Belinda Austin
Owners, Austin’s Wines
meet the team
Dwayne Cunningham is our winemaker and has an ability to explain wine in ways that people can understand easily. He has recently moved over from South Australia where he was the winemaker at Paxton wines.
Dwayne hosts all of the winery aspects of the workshops and is also available for questions at any point via the facebook group.
Craig Blake is our vineyard manager and a very experienced one at that. He’s been with Austin’s for 20 years and has managed all aspects of the vineyard and farm. Craig also manages his own vineyard which is situated across the road from Austin’s. In his part time he’s the Chief at the Maud fire station so we always feel safe when he’s around!
Craig hosts the vineyard section of the workshops.
Liz is the host extraordinaire and purveyor of fine food. Each workshop Liz brings her enthusiasm and smile to make you feel welcomed. Her former life as a caterer ensures that the food served is always top notch. Need a food and wine pairing recommendation, Liz is your go-to and is available via email and hte facebook group for support and questions throughout the year.
The workshop dates are published above. The picking and crushing date will be confirmed closer to the time as it dependent on external weather events. At the end of January we will be able to let you know a firmer idea of when this will be and let you know as soon as possible. You can expect it will be from mid February to mid March.
We are more than happy to fill in for you in case you can’t attend – don’t worry you will still receive your wine at the end. You are also more than welcome to send someone in your place for that workshop.
The wine will be a unique blend to the rent-a-vine members. Your allocation will also be labelled with your customised label. There will be three designs to choose from that will be customised with your details or you are more than welcome to design your own label and we will organise printing.
As little or as much as you like. We want you to experience winemaking without the hard work. Pick for an hour or for four or simply observe as you wish. We have staff on hand to assist as needed. Our main aim is that you enjoy yourself and learn as you go.
We do not offer refunds to the rent-a-vine program 4 weeks out from the first workshop. If you notify us prior to this time we will happily refund you minus $200 administration costs. If for whatever reason you are unable to fulfil your place in the program throughout the year it can be transferred to another person in your place.
We are located in the Moorabool Valley, 50 minutes from Melbourne and 15 minutes from Geelong. We are a 15 minute drive from Avalon airport.
We can organise a bus pick up from Geelong station to and from the winery for the first and last workshops only. We will need confirmation that you require this two weeks before each of these workshops.
One of our winemaking and/or viticulture team will be hosting the workshops. Our experienced team will explain everything in understandable terms and are always available for questions throughout the day and via the special facebook group.
The Rent-a-Vine members make a team batch of custom pinot noir or chardonnay. Austin’s is a premium cool climate wine producer and has been making wines since 1982.
We are happy to offer every member a part or full refund based on how many workshops have been attended and if they would like to purchase their wine. We will deduct $250 for each workshop attended. The wine is valued at retail of $45 per bottle.