Take a tour through Hanwood Estate, home of McWilliam’s Wines in the Riverina

It makes sense that in the year of the 100th birthday of Hanwood Estate, we began running weekly tours of our Griffith vineyards, winery and Cellar Door.

The tours have proved very popular and each week more and more people are coming to Hanwood to have our staff guide them through the wine industry, the McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate operation and the history of one of Australia’s oldest family owned wineries.

The half hour tours run at 11.45 am and 2.45 pm every Tuesday and take guests on a trip through our facilities and the winemaking process.

Cellar Door manager Karin Penninga says it’s been a huge success.

“We’ve been really excited to see so many people coming for our tours. The winery, vineyards and Cellar Door are an iconic part of Griffith’s history and we are loving the opportunity to take people through the ins and outs of the winemaking process, to show everyone the work and passion that goes into our wines.”

The tour begins with a walk through the commercial cellar and the first stages of the winemaking process – grape receival, crushing and fermentation.

The McWilliam’s staff will showcase the first grape plantings of Doradillo vines (still living), which were planted by Hanwood founder J.J. McWilliam in 1913.  It is here, beneath rows of enormous tanks, some holding  300,000 litres, that guests really garner an appreciation for the popularity of McWilliam’s wines and the scale of the operation- we crush approximately 40,000 tonnes of grapes annually and Hanwood has a wine holding capacity of 64 million litres.

“I think people are blown away by the size of our operation. McWilliam’s is very much a household name and known for being an Australian favourite, but the size of the tanks really hammers the point home, that we are one of Australia’s most popular producers and that means you have to make a lot of wine!”

In the premium cellar guests are treated to a personal tour of a more hands-on style of winemaking, using smaller fermenters and oak barrels. The premiums wines are made here and aged in the oak barrels. Some of the older barrels holding Muscat, Tawny and the 10 year old Grande are more than 80 years old.

“You can really smell the age here,” says Karin. “The seepage and the barrels themselves mean that our visitors can really smell the history and tradition that has gone into these fortified wines.”

The visit to the laboratory is also an exciting and informative part of the trip, because guests are given a firsthand insight into the science behind the art of winemaking, while also catching a glimpse of the huge array of tasks running at any one time.

“We’ve been at Hanwood for 100 years this year, so the tour is as much a walk through our history as it is through our current operation. We love the fact that people can come and really immerse themselves in the winemaking process… And then, at the end of it all, taste each of the wines that they have just learned about!”



  • The basic tour costs $5 and the premium tour, which includes a complimentary glass of wine and an antipasto platter, costs $15.
  • Tours run on Tuesdays at 11.45am and 2.45pm, though other days can be organised on request.
  • Closed shoes are a must.
  • Tours only in non-vintage season, from May/June to December.
  • Feel free to contact the Cellar Door for more information: (02) 6963 3404
  • You can find or review McWilliam’s Hanwood Estate on TripAdvisor


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