Bellwether camping ground and winery is unique in that it is the only winery we have found that provides powered and un-powered camping sites at a working winery.
There are ten campsites surrounding a stand of 400 year old red gum trees. In the centre of the circular camp ground is a fire pit for the use of campers, a fine place to enjoy a glass of your favourite local red.
Also available is Glamping. Several permanent tents, each set on its own beautiful timber deck provide a delightful view of the surrounding countryside. All tents are provided with beds and the required furniture to make your experience as comfortable as possible.
Built in 1868 by Chinese gold miners on their way to the Victorian diggings from Robe, the magnificent old Glenroy shearing shed remains in excellent condition, a tribute the remarkable skills of the Chinese. Sheep were still shorn here as recent as 2009 and the abundant supply of sheep manure from under the shed has been utilized in the produce garden next to the shed.
These days the Glenroy shearing shed has been renovated and transformed from a shearing shed into a home to Bellwether Wines boutique winery, community kitchen, cellar door and produce garden. Where once was all noise and confusion as sheep were herded in and stripped of their woolly coats, no more the buzz of shearing machines or the hoarse cry of shepherds ring out. Now, all is calm as large barrels of wine sit quietly maturing in the holding pens where apprehensive sheep once stood and waited.
You can wander through the winery and admire the architecture of the shed or sit and sip a wine of your choosing as you mull over which bottle to purchase to accompany your evening meal. This is a place for people to come together to learn and enjoy the delights of Bellwether wine. A wine made right next to where you sit.
You can even choose something from the produce garden to augment your meal and enhance its flavour.
However long you choose to stay at Bellwether Winery, be it simply to taste and purchase some of their award winning wines, or to stay a few days to explore the many nearby wineries and cellar door sales you will find Bellwether an enchanting spot.
As Bellwether is only a few years old you will find that all the amenities are very swish, new, clean and well cared for, and the bathroom and men’s toilets even have a view out over the camp ground.
Susanne Bell, winemaker and director will guide you around Glenroy winery and camp ground and not only ply you with her excellent wine but espouse the intriguing history of the shearing shed and her winery.
But intriguing as Bellwether is there are many things nearby for you to seek out and enjoy. Coonawarra boasts about twenty five cellar door outlets, more than enough to keep you busy for a few days. And in nearby Penola you can find all services including some exceptional places to dine or simply enjoy a coffee. Or perhaps a one hour “Walk with History” around Penola and learn about the remarkable Mary MacKillop and Father Woods.
Some of the buildings you will see are National Trust and State Heritage Listed buildings. Visit Petticoat Lane and see how early the settlers at Penola lived. Or visit the Woods MacKillop original schoolhouse built in 1867 and now beautifully restored.
But all this is dependent upon whether you can tear yourself away from Bellwether Winery and Glenroy shearing shed. You may find it difficult.
Glenroy shearing shed and Bellwether Winery and camp ground can be found at the northern end of Coonawarra or about 20km north of Penola on the Riddoch Highway.
Powered sites are $45.00 a night.
Unpowered sites are $30.00 a night.
There are now six tents, four with queen beds and two set up as twin singles.
Queen tents are $200 a night.
Twin singles are $100 a night.
For more information:
Ph: 0417 080 945
Postal: PO Box 344
Coonawarra, South Australia,
Cellar Door: 14183 Riddoch Hwy,
Coonawarra, South Australia, Australia 5263