The Barrel is back!  

McWilliam’s Wines reopens the doors of its newly refurbished Hanwood Cellar Door 

One of Australia’s most recognised wine names, McWilliam’s Wines, has just announced the grand reopening of its newly refreshed Hanwood Cellar Door, with doors of the iconic ‘barrel’ opening on August 11. As one of an exclusive few oversized tourist landmarks around Australia, McWilliam’s expansive barrel-shaped cellar door was first opened in 1973, and this year celebrates its 50th anniversary. 

The ambitious project breathes new life into the much-loved wine destination with extensive upgrades to its interiors and exciting new wine experiences for guests to enjoy.

McWilliam’s Wines Cellar Door was designed by Glen McWilliam 50 years ago to the precise scale of a wine barrel and a fig tree was planted at the front of the building. Whilst these two features remain today, its new owners, the Calabria family, have worked with a team of local designers and suppliers during the past 12 months to oversee the extensive renovations that were completed by Bill Calabria.

For over a century, McWilliam's Wines has played an integral role in Australia's winemaking legacy, particularly in the craft of fortified wines. The Hanwood Estate, where vines were first planted in 1913, and was the pioneering force in establishing the Riverina wine region.

“Many people associate the name McWilliam’s with the Barrel and the many fond memories of rich fortified tastings inside it. The building has become a landmark in the Riverina and was a hub for much of the great history behind the McWilliam’s name. This reopening feels like a new era for us and a great opportunity to reconnect with friends and visitors with some incredible new wine experiences,” second generation Winemaker & Managing Director Bill Calabria, AM said. 


Elevated interiors inside the barrel

While maintaining the iconic barrel-stave shell, extensive upgrades have transformed the interiors into a modern, lodge-style haven which the McWilliam’s team deems its ‘fortified house’ style. Generous seating, including cozy deluxe leather lounges and a long 16-seater table, allows the space to accommodate up to 35 guests comfortably. The centrepiece of the sophisticated fit-out is the 360° Cheminee Cast Iron Fireplace from Sculpt Fireplaces, perfect for warming up and unwinding with a glass of Shiraz. 

The space also includes an exclusive private tasting room; the ‘Friar Room' pays homage to the winery's retro novelty Friar mascot, offering groups an intimate setting for private tasting experiences. The new custom tasting bar allows visitors to engage with their knowledgeable hosts while sampling McWilliam’s diverse selection of premium wines.


An extended menu of premium drops

The newly curated cellar door wine menu allows visitors to indulge in an extensive array of top-tier offerings from the family winery, including its 660, Alternis, Single Vineyard,  and 1877  collections, as well as the winery’s pinnacle release Eliza Jane Shiraz. The menu also boasts an impressive range of aged fortified, and limited cellar door releases like Topaque, Apera and Ruby Reserve. 

For those after a light bite to complement their wines, an assortment of snacks and shareable food items, including dips and cheese platters, are available. 


Unforgettable new experiences 

The new cellar door experiences reflect McWilliam’s Wines’ wealth of fortified winemaking expertise and give visitors a taste of Australian wine history.

The ‘Fortified Discovery Tasting Experience’ is a new winemaker-led vertical tasting showcasing a line up of aged tawny to include, 5, 10, 20 & 30 year old. 

For cocktail connoisseurs, the ‘Fortified Cocktail Made to Mix Experience’ explores cocktail-ready tawny paired with various tonics to create the ideal flavour combinations. 

 Finally, guests looking for something a little sweet can indulge in the self-guided  ‘Fortified & Cuvee Chocolate Flight’ exploring a four fortified styles paired with Cuvee chocolates. 


Booking information

The newly renovated McWilliam's barrel is located on Jack McWilliam Road, Hanwood, NSW, and will officially be reponed from August 11 and will be open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Wine enthusiasts are encouraged to secure their tasting experiences in advance by booking online at


For more information about McWilliam’s Wines, visit

Follow McWilliam’s on Instagram at @mcwilliamswines.