About Us

About the Winery

Award winning wines from the beautiful Gippsland Lakes and Rivers Region of Victoria, Australia. 

Since 1978, our aim has been to create wines reminiscent of the great European styles, with a character that reflect the intense flavours unique to the area. The extensive range of wines on offer is ideal for people wanting more than the mainstream can offer, and are great with food. We make small quantities – 30 to 200 dozen – of wines that suit our soils and climate, and that we find interesting.

Visit our Cellar Door for a tasting and a chat. We have a picnic area that is ideal for enjoying lunch or a snack over-looking the lovely Nicholson River while the kids play.

Local cheese and anti-pasto platters are now available at Cellar Door. Bookings are appreciated.

Nicholson River Winery welcomes group bookings and functions. Please email or phone for further information.

The story so far

The seventies were heady times, in Australia and the rest of the West. In 1978, Ken and Juliet Eckersley decided to follow their hearts (and stomachs), plant a vineyard and make wines. They were pioneering times and vineyards were being planted in all sorts of new, ‘cool’ locations. Many were inspired by the ‘Great Wines of France’ and asked ‘why not here?’ Ken noticed strong similarities between the Gippsland Lakes and South-West France. So they said “Forget the cost, let’s just make great wines!”

Ken and Juliet Eckersley were working in the Bairnsdale area at the time – Ken as a social worker (formerly a science teacher) and Juliet as a nurse. Originally, Ken hails from Sydney and Juliet from near Manchester (UK). They loved wine and Ken was fascinated by the craft of making wine and creating something that gave people joy and pleasure.

It’s been a long, hard road through droughts, floods, outrageous taxes, local indifference, dumping by large wine companies and so on, but they are still here! A lot has been learnt about the making of wine, and the grapes from this very special area.

One word sums up the typical local character – flavour – distinctive, varietal ones that linger. This is a feature that Ken and Juliet believe is the hallmark of quality wine.

They are very happy to have received positive feedback, largely from the public, such as being voted nine times their ‘favourite white wine’ for the Nicholson River Chardonnay at the former “Exhibitions of Victorian Winemakers”. They were not mainstream wines by any means. Wine reviewers such as James Halliday, Robin Bradley and Huon Hooke have also been quite complimentary over the years.

Our wines are largely sold cellar door/mail order and on word of mouth recommendations.


Read about our distinctive label

See our wine list

Read Ken’s latest Articles

Click here for our current wine list

Click here for a map