The Hanging Rock Winery


The goal of the Hanging Rock Winery has always been to select premium grapes from areas of Victoria best suited to the particular variety, as a result we have a wide range of wines to suit most styles and tastes.

Location Description

Located in the heart of Newham, Victoria, only one hour from Melbourne.


  • Great wines, beautiful view and only 1 hour from Melbourne.

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
  • Caves:
  • Wedding Facilities:
  • Picnic Facilities:
  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
  • Awards:
  • Wine Club:
  • Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:


Robert Ellis - Chief Winemaker

Robert and his sister Ruth literally grew up at the winery so it was no surprise that he wanted to carry on the family tradition. Rob spent 5 years travelling the globe as a flying winemaker after graduating from Adelaide University as an Oenologist in 2004. Since then he has worked in top houses in Champagne, Burgundy, Oregon, Stellenbosh and most recently has been the winemaker at Hewitson's in the Barossa Valley. The wide variety of experience under Rob’s belt means that he is enjoying making the vast array of wines which Hanging Rock has to offer, although his particular passion lies in making great Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Shiraz.


What happens when 'The Princess of the Hunter' meets 'The Young Turk' in the industry?

In the late 1970's, Ann, the daughter of one of the most prominent figures in the Australian wine industry- Murray Tyrrell, met one of most talked about young winemakers of the time- John Ellis, and the rest they say is history. At that time Ann worked in her family’s business- Tyrrell’s and John was the first winemaker of a big new winery in town- Rosemount Estate. Despite some local fame and notoriety they decided to pick up and move to Victoria.

Their first move was to Echuca, an unlikely spot to start a winery. John had been asked to start up a new winery called Tisdall's. It was owned by Peter Tisdall, a local doctor. Together they pioneered a lot of wine styles that are staples today, including: Australia’s first cool climate Chardonnay, first commercially made Merlot and the first Cabernet Merlot blend. After a few years John & Ann decided it was time to start their own venture- The Hanging Rock Winery.

The Beginning of Something Great:

In 1982 John and Ann were fortuitous enough to purchase 'The Jim Jim' property in the picturesque Macedon Ranges. They chose The Macedon Ranges because of its climate. The region is arguably the coldest in Australia, perfect for making sparkling wine- their great passion. Over the next couple of years the first grapes were planted and the winery/ house was built.

Athol's Paddock- The Heathcote Story:

While driving from Echuca to Newham in the early days John noticed that the soil that was being ploughed for wheat was a beautiful rich red colour. He wondered how good this soil would be for growing grapes. John was asked to make the wine from the Mt Ida Vineyard for Leonard French and his love affair for Heathcote wine began. He decided to lease a vineyard on the Mt Camel range. Unfortunately after a small number of years the vineyard all but died from salt leaching through the soil. In 1994 Athol Guy from The Seekers fame decided that he needed a vineyard. He and John agreed to form a partnership. Although we bought the vineyard from Athol a number of years ago it will always be known as Athol's vineyard, for without him it wouldn't exist. Today this 20 acre amazing vineyard is entirely planted with Shiraz. It is dry grown and in a good year produces 1 tonne to the acre of fruit. These grapes go to make our Heathcote Shiraz and Reserve Heathcote Shiraz.

The Winery’s 30th Birthday:

In 2013 the Ellis family celebrated 30 years since the first vines were planted in 1983. The Jim Jim property was purchased bare in 1982 and all the vineyard, buildings and property enhancement have happened since with the winery grew to a much bigger size than the Ellis' originally anticipated. Both John & Ann's children, Ruth & Rob have come back to help run the winery. Ruth is General Manager Sales & Marketing and Rob is Chief Winemaker and General Manager Production. John and Ann are very proud of what they have set up and the winery community they have built. They feel that they have achieved what they set out to do - To make great Sparkling Wine and Heathcote Shiraz and to build a business that embodies all that they hold dear.

The launch of Hanging Rock Beef & Speckle Park Stud Hanging Rock Beef :

Early 2014, Ruth & John Ellis launched their new ventures Hanging Rock Beef and Hanging Rock Speckle Park Stud. This is the culmination of a long held dream of theirs, to sell beef alongside wine in their cellar door. The beef is from 2 year old animals and is sold with all the same information you would expect to see on a wine label, including: Age, hang time, breed, tasting notes, where they grew up and of course wine matching.

The Team

John Ellis - Managing Director:

John graduated as Dux of the Winemaking Course at Roseworthy College in 1971 and started his winemaking career at Krondorf and Yalumba in the Barossa Valley before becoming the first winemaker at Rosemount Estate in the Hunter Valley where he became known as one of the “Young Turks” of the wine industry. John met his wife, Ann Tyrrell while in the Hunter and they moved to Victoria in late 1978 to establish the Tisdall Winery in Echuca for Peter Tisdall. This soon became a very highly recognised winery internationally, with a cult following. John and Ann then established the winery at Hanging Rock in 1983 and their ambitions were met by soon becoming highly regarded for their multi award winning and highly acclaimed Macedon Sparkling wine, Jim Jim Sauvignon Blanc and Heathcote Shiraz.

While owning and managing a successful winery John managed to give considerable time to the State and Federal wine industry, as well as Victorian Tourism. This culminated in him being Vice President of the Winemakers Federation of Australia. As a mark of his efforts John has been awarded a Distinguished Service Award by the Victorian Wine Industry Association, the French Australian Chamber of Commerce French Flair Award and holds Legend status with the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival as well as the Tourism Victoria Award for the “Most Outstanding Contribution by an Individual” in 2007. He was also awarded a Centenary Medal. He has been a senior judge in the Australian Show circuit for over 25 years, including being Chairman of Judges of the Hobart Show for 4 years.

Ruth Ellis - Sales & Marketing Manager:

Ruth and Rob grew up at the Hanging Rock Winery. In fact the family moved there from Echuca when Ruth was just 3. Although she grew up wanting to be a winemaker it became apparent shortly after leaving school that communicating with the public was more her strong suit. After travelling the world and living in different parts of Australia, Ruth graduated with a Wine Marketing Degree from Adelaide University in 2004. Shortly afterwards she got the call to come back to the winery. In that time she has made her way up from Export Manager and Brand Ambassador to Sales & Marketing Manager. Like her father, Ruth also enjoys her time judging wine with various shows including Royal Melbourne, International Cool Climate Wine Show and Federation Square.

Andrew Kostas - Cellar Door Manager:

If you have been to Cellar Door or to an event of ours since 2005, chances are you have met our Andrew. He does a remarkable job of being the day to day face of The Hanging Rock Winery and has a wealth of knowledge and passion for wine and food.

Barbara Rowland - Sales Executive & Office Administrator:

Barb is the newest member of the Hanging Rock team. If you place an order with us Barb is the one who makes sure it gets to you correctly and in a timely manner.

The Vintage Crew - 2015:

Robert Ellis (Chief Winemaker)
Andrew Kostas
Kazu Wakai (Architect come winemaking intern)
Josh Cooper
John Ellis (CEO)
Ayano Ikai (Japanese restauranter and long time friend of the family)
Paul Gleeson
Gavin Demonte
Etienne Mangier (Assistant Winemaker)
Amy Moore
Paul Rintala

The Vintage Crew- 2013:

Etienne Mangier- Our French Assistant Winemaker
Joshua Cooper- Son of local Vignerons Allan & Nelly Cooper of Cobaw Ridge. Working in the winery and vineyard as a qualified winemaker
Robert Ellis- Chief Winemaker- Hanging Rock Winery
Jean- Paul Trijsburg- Our Dutch vintage intern. Also a qualified Winemaker
Gavin D'Monte- Our long term Cellar Hand.
Chris Haas- Usually works in the warehouse, did his stint in the vineyard over vintage
Paul Rintala- Our long term Chief Vineyard Hand.
John Ellis- Managing Director- Hanging Rock Winery


96 Points Hanging Rock Heathcote Shiraz 2010 ~ Ray Jordan - West Weekend Magazine
'Will be knocking around for many years to come'

94 Points Hanging Rock Heathcote Shiraz 2010 ~ Andrew Graham - Oz Wine Review
'I'm always impressed with Hanging Rock Heathcote Shiraz'

Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir 2013 ~ Christine Salins- Hospitality Magazine
10 wines that wont break the bank

2014 ROCK Semillon Sauvignon Blanc- Scoffer Magazine
A solid 7.5/10

2012 Jim Jim Chardonnay- Andrew Graham- Oz Wine Review July 2015
Rating: 9/10

'Sumptuous Pinot' Jim Jim Pinot Noir 2012 ~ Max Allen - Gourmet Traveller
'Top Drop of the month'

92 points 2012 Cambrian Rise Heathcote Shiraz- Andrew Graham- Oz Wine Review June 2015
'Would I buy it? I'd share a bottle, but high chance someone else would drain the bottle and tell me that it was the greatest wine they've ever had. Likely a bloke.'

NV Macedon Rose- More than a picnic- Regan Drew- Queensland Times Weekend
Rating: 9/10

2012 Jim Jim Chardonnay- More than a picnic- Regan Drew- Queensland Times Weekend
Rating: 9/10

2012 Cambrian Rise Heathcote Shiraz- More than a picnic- Regan Drew- Queensland Times Weekend
Rating: 8/10

95 Points Jim Jim Pinot Noir 2012 ~ Campbell Mattinson - The Wine Front
"This is a beauty"...

94 Points Hanging Rock Heathcote Shiraz 2010 ~ Campbell Mattinson - The Wine Front
"Its simple but seductive"...

91+ Points The Jim Jim Chardonnay 2012 ~ Campbell Mattinson - The Wine Front
"There’s plenty to enjoy here"...

89 Points Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir 2013 ~ Campbell Mattinson - The Wine Front
"Burly Pinot Noir from one of (if not the) coldest wine regions in Australia: The Macedon Ranges"...

Dooral Roundup April 2015 - Review by Hugh Martin, Vintage Cellars
"The Macedon Ranges is on Melbourne's doorstep, less than an hour from the city" - Hugh Martin

94 points for 2014 Jim Jim Sauvignon Blanc - Hallidays Wine Companion Jan 2015
Impressive complexity and intensity.

94 points for 2013 Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir - Hallidays Wine Companion Jan 2015
Good colour, savoury/spicy overtones to the red fruits of the bouquet and palate alike.

Hanging Rock Winery NV Brut Cuvée XIV Macedon Champagne Blend
A Delectable Review for our Brut Cuvée XIV Macedon Champagne Blend

2 GOLD and 1 SILVER medals at the Victorian Wine Show 2014
Gold for 2012 Jim Jim Pinot Noir, 2012 Cambrian Rise Heathcote Shiraz and a silver for 2012 Prospect Cabernet

Macedon Rosé features in James Halliday's Top 100 2014
NV Macedon Brut Rose is listed amoungst Australias Top 8 sparkling wines!

Wines of Provenance: A great innovation (James Halliday - The Weekend Australian) 16 Nov 2014
'01 (Heathcote Shiraz) still with years to go

Jim Jim Sauvignon Blanc wins public choice award for the second year running- Macedon Ranges Wine Exhibition
Another win for Jim Jim Sauv Blanc

A medal scoop at the 2014 Ballarat Wine Show
1 gold, a silver and 3 bronze medals at the 2014 Ballarat Wine Show

2012 Rich Reef Shiraz by Red Wine, Dark Room Blog
Top stuff, especially for the $20 mark

Our 8 Stars of Hallidays 2015 Wine Companion
8 wines get 5 stars in Hallidays 2015 Wine Companion

Trophy goes to Robert Ellis for most outstanding contribution by an individual at The Heathcote Wine Show 2014
Congratulations Rob Ellis

2012 Cambrian Rise in Ray Jordans Top 100 Reds!
2012 Cambrian Rise in Ray Jordans Top 100 Reds!

James Halliday lists 2013 Jim Jim Sauvignon Blanc as one of his Wow Factor Whites for 2014
93 points for our 2013 Jim Jim Sauv Blanc

Hanging Rock Winery: A Family Affair- June 2014
Meet the Ellises of Hanging Rock..

2012 Jim Jim Sauvignon Blanc given 9/10 by Max Crus
Fabulous Sauvignon Blanc

Low fruit yields mixed blessings
''The crop out there is one of the best we've had for years and years,''

2014 Vintage Report By Robert Ellis- Chief Winemaker
2014 was a cracker of a vintage

Wine maker John Ellis has turned his passion for cattle into a business

2012 Jim Jim Sauvignon Blanc given 93 points by WBM's Mike Bennie
Compelling Sauv Blanc, did I just say that?

2008 Heathcote Shiraz listed in John Fordhams Top 100- High Life Magazine
Another gong for Heathcote

Silver medal for 2010 Heathcote Shiraz at the 2013 Melbourne Wine Show
Another gong for Heathcote

2013 Jim Jim Sauvignon Blanc receives public choice award for best wine of show
Rob's first ever trophy!

92 points for 2009 Heathcote Shiraz from Angus Hughson at
Good for another 10 years

93 points for 2010 Jim Jim Pinot Noir from Angus Hughson at
A delicate and fragrant style that will improve over the next 5 years.

90 points for 2009 Jim Jim Chardonnay from Angus Hughson at
Creamy in texture yet with a fresh acid spine

92 points for our 2012 Jim Jim Sauv Blanc from Angus Hughson at
An impressive Australian style

94 points for 2005 Heathcote Shiraz Reserve from Angus Hughson at
Looking good for its age and another decade in the tank. Impressive

Silver medal for 2009 Heathcote Shiraz at the 2013 Perth Wine Show
Another gong for Heathcote

Macedon XIV gets 94 points from Mike Bennie- WBM Magazine Sept 2013
Fantastic expression, delicious layered fizz!

2011 Jim Jim Pinot Noir- Discover James' top picks for pinot noir July 2013
John Ellis take a bow.

Rock Solid- 30 Years of Hanging Rock Winery (WBM Magazine) June 2013
As Hanging Rock Winery in the Macedon Ranges marks its 30th anniversary, general manager Ruth Ellis recalls the day her family moved to Newham all those years ago.

3 silvers and 1 bronze (Fed Square Wine Showcase) May 2013
Hanging Rock Winery cleaned up at the latest Fed Square Wine Awards.

Gold Medal for 2012 Jim Jim Pinot Noir (International Cool Climate Wine Show) May 2013
Held in the Mornington Peninsula, the International Cool Climate Wine Show has earnt its reputation for being one of Australasias best wine shows.

A Beguiling Oddity from Hanging Rock (Oz Wine Review) April 2013

Ray Jordon's Top 100 Australian Wines (2010 Tarzali Riesling & Macedon Brut Cuvee XII) Dec 2012
Ray has been a long term supporter of ours and he defientely enjoyed the latest offerings from us.

Gold Medal- Best Single Vineyard Shiraz In The Country- 2010 Heathcote Shiraz Oct 2012
Royal Melbourne Wine Show

Meet Rob Ellis (Get Fed- Fed Square Newsletter) July 2012
Rob Ellis, the young wine maker of Hanging Rock Winery in the Macedon Ranges is in the spotlight this month with his stellar performance at the June Fed Square Wine Showcase.

93 points- 2008 Hanging Rock Jim Jim Macedon Ranges Pinot Noir (James Halliday Wine Companion Magazine) Feb 2012

Silver Medal at the International Riesling Challenge for the 2010 Tarzali Riesling (October 2011)
2011 Rutherglen Wine Show

Gold Medal for Tarzali at the Rutherglen Wine Show (September 2011)
2011 Rutherglen Wine Show

Silver medal- 2010 Tarzali Riesling (Ballarat Wine Show) Sept 2011
Ballarat Wine Show

Halliday gives 5 Stars to the Hanging Rock Winery (Wine Companion 2012) August 2011
James Hallidays Wine Companion 2012

Annointed Son ( Winestate Magazine) May/ June 2011
A NEW generation of the Ellis family is set to take the winemaking reins at Hanging Rock Winery in Macedon Ranges.

Winemaking an Ellis family tradition (McIvor Times) Feb 2011
Kate Hicks McIvor Times. Hanging Rock Winery has a new winemaker.

Heathcote's Bow (Gourmet Traveller WINE) Feb 2011

Max Allen The Future Makers. Australian Wines for the 21st Century (Dec 2010)
The following is an extract from Max Allens latest book.

Hanging Rock Macedon Brut Cuvee LD VIII (Nick Stock, WBM Wine 100) Dec 2010
Nick Stock Wine100

Hanging Rock Heathcote Shiraz 2006 - Ralph Kyte-Powell (The Age- Uncorked) June 2010
Ralph Kyte-Powell The Age (Uncorked)

James Halliday Australian Wine Companion 2010

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88 Jim Rd
Newham, Victoria 3442

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