Our Story

How It Began…

In 1987 Brian Mullany met Suellen Patterson. Suellen was working for Mark Flanders EyeQ Optometrists and Brian was working on his parents “Ballinaclash” Cherry Orchard.

Suellen’s sister Vicki is married to Mark Flanders and Mark is originally from South Australia and loved everything to do with wine.

In 1988 Suellen bought her house and Brian moved in 😊

The house was beside a vacant 140 acre block of dirt, adjoined to Mark and Vicki’ s property. Mark and Brian got talking and decided to buy the vacant lot with Mike Mullany (Brian’s Dad) and John Kirkwood, a local pathologist.

In late 1988 Brian and Mark went to the Young Grape Growers meeting at Peter and Bib Robertson’s winery, “Barwang” along with at least 4 other vineyard owners and that made up most of the vineyards from the area. The name Hilltops as a regional name was talked about as Barwang was in the Harden Shire, not Young and from there the Hilltops Wine Region began.

On the 7th October 1989 (Brian and Suellen’s wedding day) the first plantings at Grove Estate began. However, all the vines died, due to a drought and Brian having no idea what he was doing. He then attended a three day course in viticulture at the old Orange Ag College and after this, he knew all about wine making and growing grapes and hasn’t killed a grape vine since. 😊

The Grove Estate Vineyards now comprise 100 hectares of vines over two properties either side of Young. The Vineyards are substantially planted to Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as a number of alternative varieties.

Zinfandel, also known as Primitivo was planted as far back as 1996 and the Nebbiolo is an absolute stand out variety for the area.

The Cellar Door was first established in 1999, just 4km from Young on the Murringo Road and is the most substantial in the region – open 7 days a week.

The Cellar Door has undergone substantial renovations in recent years and now has a large under cover outdoor deck, where you can take in the views over the vineyard in while enjoying our award winning wines. Gourmet platters are also available on booking.

Harvest 2021