After weeks of living under the shadow of the Mount Buffalo bushfires, Bright-based winery Billy Button finally has something to celebrate – they have opened a new joint cellar door with Bush Track Wines in Myrtleford.
There will also be a regional spotlight shined on other local wineries including Bike & Barrel Wines, Mayford Wines and Dalbasco Wines.
Cheese platters will be readily available, along with small deli items and other gourmet goods from local producers including The Peaks Artisan Cheesemakers.
The partnership between the two businesses goes back many years. Jo Marsh (Billy Button) and Bob and Helen McNamara (Bush Track Wines) already enjoy a great relationship.
Bob is a well established winegrower in the region and Jo has been making his wine for many years.
“Our region is going through a really tough time, but together we know we can be stronger,” Jo says.
“The opening of our joint cellar door in Myrtleford signifies so much of the camaraderie between us all.
“It’s the ideal excuse for people to come together and get a taste of just how distinctive the wines from our region are.”
The loss of visitation from tourists over the summer has had a huge impact on the region, however the amount of smoke in the area may also add an extra layer of complication for growers and winemakers.
Smoke taint is a problem that could affect the grapes and result in a vintage that can’t be harvested. The worst-case scenario is that current wine stocks will need to last until the 2021 vintage is available.
In the short term though, it is business as usual as much as possible. The existing Billy Button cellar door in Bright still continues to welcome visitors.
Billy Button Wines burst onto the scene in 2014 and continues to be a labour of love for Jo Marsh.
After years of corporate winemaking (Jo previously held positions at Southcorp Wines, Seppelt and Feathertop Wines), she followed her heart and took the leap to creating her own wines, showcasing her beloved region.
The Billy Button name belongs to the bouncy native yellow flowers that colour the mountain tops of the Alpine Valleys.
“It was a natural fit to name the wines after these beautiful bundles of joy,” Jo says.
Jo was a recent finalist for Australian Women in Wine Winemaker of the Year and has been a finalist three times previously.
Bob and Helen McNamara planted their Bush Track vineyard in 1987. Located in the hills of Whorouly South, at the southern end of the Ovens Valley overlooking the Beechworth plateau, they grow Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sangiovese.
Always hands-on, when it came to establishing the vineyard Bob cut the posts from the bush and dug them into place himself.
The Bushfire Support Mixed Dozen featuring Billy Button, Bushtrack Wines, Bike & Barrel Wines, Mayford Wines and Dalbasco Wines is available at cellar door or online https://www.billybuttonwines.com.au/product/bushfire-support-mixed-dozen.