Our History

The site’s history stretches back to 1836, when the explorer Major Thomas Mitchell crossed the river here on his 900 kilometre journey from Sydney to Melbourne. The intended riverside town was to have been called Mitchellstown. Ross Shelmerdine called his fledgling winery Mitchelton,  a derivation of Mitchellstown and the vineyard’s first sod was turned in 1969. 

Don Lewis joined Preece for the fledgling winery’s first vintage in 1973, and assumed the winemaker’s mantle when Preece retired in 1974. That same year, Mitchelton’s winery and spectacular cellar door complex, designed  by renowned Australian architect Ted Ashton and complete with 55 metre tower, was officially opened. In the years since, Mitchelton has developed a reputation for consistently high quality table wines. 

Our first trophy, won in 1978, was for a Riesling, a variety Mitchelton has become famous for. Mitchelton won its first export award in 1986 and now offers its wine in numerous international markets. In 1991 Mitchelton took out a stunning double, winning the Jimmy Watson Trophy for best dry one year old red(1990 Print Shiraz) and Vineyard of the Year. 

In 2004 following 30 years of successful winemaking and leadership of Mitchelton, Don made the decision to pursue other challenges; however he retains a strong link and has passed responsibilities to John Beresford (Winery Manager and Viticulturist) and Travis Clydesdale  (Senior Winemaker). As we celebrate 43 years since our official opening, Mitchelton remains committed to producing superb regional wines specialising in Shiraz, Riesling and Rhone blends.

Mitchelton’s Legendary Tower

Ross Shelmerdine called his fledgling winery Mitchelton, a derivation of Mitchellstown and the vineyard’s first sod was turned in 1969. Don Lewis joined Preece for the fledgling winery’s first vintage in 1973, and assumed the winemaker’s mantle when Preece retired in 1974. That same year, Mitchelton’s winery and spectacular cellar door complex, designed by renowned Australian architect Ted Ashton and complete with 55 metre tower, was officially opened.

Timeline

1969   Vines first planted on the estate. Mitchelton established as a winery.

1973   Mitchelton Winery complex first opens its doors to the public.

1978   Mitchelton’s Blackwood Park Riesling wins Mitchelton’s first ever Trophy.

1982 The First Mitchelton Print Art Exhibition is held.

1987/88  Most Successful Exhibitor Victorian Wine Show.

1988  Mitchelton Winemaker Don Lewis named Victorian Winemaker of the Year.

1990  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa melds her soaring voice and beautiful music amongst the Mitchelton vines during ‘Twilight at Mitchelton’ Concert.

1991  Trophy Double-Up – Mitchelton named Vineyard  of the Year at the Victorian Wines Show and 1990 Mitchelton Print Shiraz wins the prestigious Jimmy Watson Trophy.

1994  Victorian Winery Tourism Award

1995 Victorian Winery Tourism Award

1995 Most Successful Exhibitor Victorian Wine Show.

2004  Mitchelton named Quaff Winery of the Year.

2005  Mitchelton’s Print Shiraz achieves Langton’s Classification – Distinguished.

2005  Mitchelton hosts Stage start of Jayco Herald Sun Tour. This will continue for next three years.

2006  Mitchelton and Preece wines official wine sponsor for critically acclaimed Sydney Festival.

2007  Mitchelton and Preece wines official wine sponsor for Melbourne International Arts Festival. Mitchelton’s Airstrip Marsanne Roussanne Viognier wins London International Wine Competition Trophy for Best Rhone White.

2008  Mitchelton and Preece wines official wine sponsor for Essendon Football Club. Mitchelton winemaker Ben Haines named The Wine Society’s Young Winemaker of the Year.

2009 Mitchelton Wines commences sponsorship partnership with Racing Victoria for Victorian Thoroughbred Racing Industry and Australian Racehorse of the Year Awards Dinners.

2011 The Ryan Family acquire Mitchelton Winery and Vineyard heralding an exciting new era with the commencement of Mitchelton’s redevelopment to an iconic food, wine and hospitality destination.

The site’s history stretches back to 1836, when the explorer Major Thomas Mitchell crossed the river on his 900 kilometre journey from Sydney to Melbourne. The riverside town was to have been called Mitchellstown.