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  • Your Hunter Valley Magazine

Taste the History at Ben Ean


ben ean holding wine
Image: MJK Creative

Ben Ean's history goes back more than 140 years to when John McDonald gave the estate its Scottish name, meaning ‘mountain of pleasure’. The estate was sold in 1917 to the Lindeman Family, who renamed it Lindemans Ben Ean and produced fortified wines until the 1980s when the market shifted towards table wines.

 

The brand underwent various ownership changes, acquired by Philip Morris in 1972 (Lindeman's Ben Ean Moselle was Australia's best-selling wine in the 1970s), Penfolds in 1990, Southcorp, and eventually Treasury Wine Estates in 2011. During its guardianship Southcorp renovated the old distillery site for the 2000 Sydney Olympics when Lindemans was the official wine provider, but Treasury later closed the Hunter Valley estate and it sat abandoned until two wine families stepped in to revive it. In September 2017, Lindemans was acquired by the McGuigan and Peterson families, who were determined to return the property to its historical roots.


“The property has produced extraordinary wines that have assisted in building the reputation of the Hunter Valley as one of the world’s highestquality wine regions. And now the site's heritage will be protected at all costs in recognition of the great history we possess in our region,” said Brian McGuigan.


Central to plans to develop the Estate was reverted back to the original name of Ben Ean in a nod to its past while stocking the cellar door with iconic wine brands from its famous families’ wines such as Petersons Wines, Savannah Estate, Lisa McGuigan Wines, Neil McGuigan Wines, Penfolds, Gunpowder Wines and Weerona Wines is underscored by the tagline ‘from our wine families to yours’.


Dedicated to maintaining and developing the estate as a salute to some of the best-known viticulturists and winemakers of the last 170 years in the Hunter, the team has returned the 175-year-strong winery and vineyard to its former glory after extensive refurbishment to the Ben Ean Cellar Door and Baumé Restaurant and converting the tin shed that housed John McDonald’s distillery in 1907 into the uber-luxurious The Still House.


The Still House has become the most sought-after destination for VIPs and those ‘in the know’ who want to enjoy private dining and tasting experiences while soaking up the extraordinary heritage of this once-humble building where the original copper brandy still sits with a historical beauty all of its own. The shelves are stocked with old Lindeman’s and Penfolds wines, some dating back to the 1930s, and the space is used to host private tastings and dining events that are nothing short of bucket-list experiences.


A must-include stop on your Hunter Valley itinerary, Ben Ean is open seven days a week. For restaurant bookings and more information about events and functions, visit www.benean.com.au.

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