About Dominique Portet Winery
| Cellar Door | Family | Label |
Ninth-generation winemaker Dominique Portet chose the cool climate of aptly named Coldstream in the Yarra Valley as home to the eponymous winery he founded in 2000.
It was the culmination of a tenacious search for grapegrowing terroir to rival that of his native Bordeaux – but also the start of a new chapter in a winemaking story that has its roots in France in the early 1700s.
Now son Ben – generation 10 – heads the winemaking team, firmly observing the central tenets of this young yet historic estate: respect for tradition, understanding of site and an open mind towards contemporary practices that shape wines that are ever more refined and delicious.
Set amongst the beautiful rolling vineyards of the Yarra Valley, our recently renovated cellar door is open Wednesday - Sunday from 10am to 5pm. We would love to welcome you, share what we love to do, and have been doing since 2000 - whether its tastings, tours of the barrel room and winery, or something a little more drawn out.
Our charming Bistro draws on our Bordeaux roots to bring you French family classics. We also have a pretty full calendar of family-friendly, social food and wine events throughout the year.
Father and Son 10 Generations of winemakers
Dominique Portet got his first whiff of wine at one of the world’s most illustrious wine properties: Château Lafite-Rothschild. It was here in Pauillac that his father, André Portet, served as régisseur (vineyard & winery manager). Dominique went on to earn his stripes at Montpellier University of Oenology before perking up morale as wine-buying adviser during compulsory military service. He later spent vintages in the Médoc, Rhône Valley, Provence and with Champagne giant Moët et Chandon, as well as in the Napa Valley at his brother Bernard’s Clos du Val estate.
"I found fragrance and structure – most of all the structure reminds me of Bordeaux. The Yarra has a charm, a beauty that engulfs you. The wines are worldly."
Since 1976 he has been a pioneer of the renaissance of Australia’s cool-climate wine industry, founding renowned sparkling wine house Taltarni in the Pyrenees and Clover Hill in Tasmania.
In 2000 he embarked on his greatest adventure: the Dominique Portet winery in the Yarra Valley.
Along with the incredible lineage and pedigree that comes with being a 10th generation winemaker, Ben has benefited from the wisdom and experiences of many. That began with four vintages at the renowned Adelaide University finishing school of Brian Croser and Con Moshos at Petaluma in the Adelaide Hills.
Internationally he has worked with Philippe Blanc of Bordeaux’s Château Beychevelle, in Reims with Louis Roederer and honed his skill with Syrah in Hermitage working with M. Chapoutier. His "new world" experiences include South Africa’s Stellenbosch Warwick Estate, as well as a stint in California’s Napa Valley artisan St Helena winery Vineyard 29.
Since returning to the Dominique Portet Winery in 2008, he has not only continued 40 years of pioneering family wine craftsmanship in Australia, but also been a leading industry judge, completing the Len Evans Tutorial scholarship [in 2017].
The arabesque form that adorns the labels is designed by celebrated Greek jeweller Ilias Lalaounis. The shape suggests grace, strength, purity of line. It symbolises the close bonds between generations, families and continents.
The design derives from a pair of earrings worn by Dominique’s wife, Julia, who met the Lalaounis family when she was a student. Their friendship has grown over the decades.
Ilias Lalaounis is the only jeweller to be welcomed as an associate of the Académie des Beaux-Arts of the Institut de France in Paris. He has boutiques in Athens, Paris, London, Geneva, Zurich, New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo. His work has been exhibited in New York, Washington DC, Paris and at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow.