Although Phillip and Michelle Stivens put in a lot of hard work to get the winery at Heifer Station back up and running, they continue to develop the property to enhance its appeal to both families and the wine connoisseur.
Their efforts have paid off with victory in a Country and Outback Regional Tourism Award – held annually to recognise excellence in regional NSW – and being named one of four NSW Tourism Award finalists in the Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries section.
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Phase one of the Heifer Station development was the Barrel Shed renovation.
Phase two will be the machinery shed renovation to put in a commercial kitchen and toilets, while phase three is to build a couple of bed and breakfasts in the vineyard.
Phillip said while it had been a big effort so far, it had been worthwhile.
“We hold a number of functions in the Barrel Shed which is, in fact, booked out up until after Christmas,” he said. “We were lucky to be in a good position when we opened the cellar door in 2016.
“Having a shearing shed which was more than 100 years old on site was the perfect opportunity to maintain some history while creating a very nice location for functions.
“We are in the process of looking at doing some extensions to the Barrel Shed as well.
“We are very lucky to have great support from the Orange community and we want to reward that with a members tasting area.
“We have a great little petting zoo for the kids featuring Truffle the miniature pig, Tilly the miniature horse, Brutus the sheep, Highland Cattle, geese, guinea fowl, goats, and chooks.
“We have a great team here who work well together.
“I mainly do the vineyard work while Michelle is the brains behind the winery improvements and decorating.”