A FINE WINE PHILOSOPHY Having spent the past 25 years producing some of the Hunter Valleys finest and most awarded wines, Gartelmann Wines in Lovedale have much to be proud of
Gartelmann Wines was established in 1996 by Jan and Jorg Gartelmann and celebrates its 25th year of operation this year. Jan and Jorg developed the winery which specialises in award-winning handcrafted wines using grapes sourced from the Lower and Upper Hunter Valley, Mudgee, Rylstone, and Orange regions of NSW. They’ve been partners in the Lovedale Long Lunch since 1999 and enjoyed a strong membership base. The peace and quiet of retirement was calling them, and so they decided to sell the winery. When Matt Dillow owner of The Deck Cafe heard, he jumped at the chance to buy the cellar door and estate.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Matt. “When I first laid eyes on the estate eight years ago, I fell in love with it and knew that one day I would own it. I adore the bushland setting with the dam and outdoor seating that we’ve extended over the time I’ve been here. I want to continue the legacy that Jan and Jorg have left, but right now, I’m still pinching myself. It feels surreal and hasn’t quite sunk in yet.”
Purchasing the winery is a natural extension for Matt – it provides certainty of location for his restaurant which has never been busier, despite COVID. The Deck Café showcases a tapas-style menu and is open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch and dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. They also do weddings and private functions, and with the COVID backlog of weddings this year, they have a number of them booked in already. The setting of the café is something that every review mentions with outdoor seating overlooking the beautiful dam and all set in bushland – it’s an idyllic country food and wine experience.
Despite this busy and demanding restaurant, as chef and owner of The Deck Café, Matt created a well-received line of products called, fittingly enough, “Matt’s Produce”, based on his love of, and enthusiasm for, the local agriculture. The gourmet range includes Apple Balsamic Glaze, Rosemary and Parmesan Oil, Olive Tapenade, Smokey Bbq Sauce, Beetroot Relish, Asian Basting Marinade and Preserved Lemon. It’s a popular choice for fans of the restaurant, enabling them to take home some of their favourite flavours.
Matt is keen to freshen up the estate and work has already begun on a pop-up coffee, juice and gelato bar which should be ready for next summer and be a hit with families. “It’s important to me to offer a beautiful food and wine experience that is welcoming for all the family,” said Matt. “We’ll be expanding this aspect of the estate. I want it to be a place where the kids feel free to roam and run about, to have as much fun as Mum and Dad when they visit.”
The estate is home to several farm animals, including alpacas, “Dash of Class” and “Bentley”. There are silky chickens, Shetland ponies, a miniature pig, and 2 Galloway cows will join the petting farm at the end of the year. The estate is also pooch-friendly so long as the “Pooch Rules” are followed, and if they’re really good, there may even be a treat provided.
“Gartelmann’s wines have won multiple awards, and we have no plans to change anything dramatically,” said Matt.
OPEN 7 DAYS
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, Saturday 10am-5pm & Sunday 10am-4pm
PLEASE BOOK YOUR WINE TASTING - CALL THE CELLAR DOOR ON (02) 49307113
READ ABOUT GARTELMANN WINES IN YOUR HUNTER VALLEY MAGAZINE
701 LOVEDALE RD, POKOLBIN
+61 2 4930 7113